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ABSOLUETLY NO OUTSIDE SOURCES. The essays should be typed with section number, and chapter title in the upper right-hand corner and your name written across the back. NO COVERS OF ANY KIND. In addition, you must submit your essay electronically to the class website (details will be provided later) for detection of possible plagiarism. Papers are due by 5pm on the due dates above. Upload your papers to the Turnitin application on Moodle. Please see me with any questions.
In these short essays, I want you to do the following:
Briefly identify your historical problem and your historical question (Historical Context).
Include a thesis** that briefly states the main argument of your essay, ideally at the end of your opening paragraph (your answer to the historical question)
Use clear, complete sentences and paragraphs
Have an easy-to-follow, logical organization
Have few or no grammar or usage errors
Write in persuasive, economical prose
Include only material presented in the course readings or in the lectures
Cite direct quotations, specific evidence, and material presented in lecture with proper citation methods (Chicago/Turabian)
Above all, I want you to make an argument and support it with evidence using primary sources.
** A thesis is a one-sentence (or occasionally a two-sentence) statement of your central idea. The thesis is generally the answer to the central question you pose. For example, if your central question is to determine the extent to which Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forest was responsible for the massacre of Union troops at Fort Pillow, a possible thesis might be: “Although we will never know whether Nathan Bedford Forest directly ordered the massacre of Union troops at Fort Pillow, letters written after the massacre by the men he commanded suggests that he was responsible for it.
WRITING STYLE SHEET
1. All papers must be typed or, preferably, word-processed. Hand written essays are difficult to read and will lower your professor’s tolerance for mistakes.
2. All papers must be double-spaced. No extra spaces are to be put between paragraphs in papers of less than 2,000 words in length. In longer papers, extra spaces should occur between paragraphs only when a major topic or stylistic shift occurs.
3. All writing must be in 12-point font. Smaller fonts can be difficult to read and larger fonts give the impression that you are padding the length of your paper.
4. Pages must be numbered in the upper right corner using the header option of your word processor.
5. All papers MUST be stapled in the upper left corner. There should be no plastic or similar binder.
6. The History Department uses the Turabian/Chicago Manual of Style for bibliographic and note citation. We will not accept papers using MLA or other style formats. Snowden Library maintains examples of the most relevant Chicago Style requirements on its home page.
This is an example of a proper footnote. The same format should be used for endnotes.
This is an example of proper bibliographic (NOT FOOTNOTE) citation:
Perret, Geoffrey. There’s a War to be Won: The United States Army in World War II. New York: Random House, 1991.
7. All papers are to be grammatically sound. Errors in presentation lead to errors in understanding. The following are some of our particular concerns.
a. You should avoid using the passive voice. This is an example of the passive voice: “It has been said that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence.”
What’s wrong with this? Well, for one thing, wouldn’t we want to know who said that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration?
This is a good correction of the above sentence: “According to Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence.”
b. You should use the contraction “it’s” only when you wish it to stand for “it is.” This is an example of when you should not use the contract “it’s”: “The cat played with its ball.” In this case, its is possessive, the cat played with the ball it thought it owned, not with it is ball. A good rule of thumb? When in doubt, leave the apostrophe out.
c. Almost always, punctuation should appear inside a quotation mark, not outside it. Therefore, “The sky is blue today,” is correct, while “the sky is blue today”, is wrong. Likewise,
“Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence”. (WRONG!)
“Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence.” (RIGHT!)
The Textbook is Nancy A. Hewitt and Steven F. Lawson, Exploring American Histories: A Brief History With Sources. Boston & New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press