History Research Paper Assignment

| February 15, 2017

Research Paper Assignment

I.RESEARCH PAPER GUIDELINES

All written assignments MUST be submitted through the class website. Written assignments MUST be YOUR work in YOUR words. If you use materials prepared by others in your paper, you MUST provide appropriate references (footnotes). Failure to do so is considered plagiarism and is subject to the penalties described later in this syllabus. Papers will be submitted to Turnit-in to check for plagiarism. IF YOU DO NOT CITE IT IS AN AUTOMATIC ZERO!!! NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

* All works submitted are required to be original works.

* Papers written for, or modified from, works for other classes will not be accepted.

* Any paper that is, in the instructor’s judgment, substantially similar to that of another student’s will result in BOTH students being subject to plagiarism penalties.

Short and Late Papers

* Required papers that fail to meet the required length will lose at least1/2 point for every word short of the requirement.

* Optional papers that fail to meet the required length will not be accepted.

* No late papers will be accepted.

 

  1. PAPER GUIDELINES“Half of success is simply following the rules.”

All papers must conform to the following:

* an electronic copy must be submitted through Eagle Online. A printed copy is welcome, especially if you would like written feedback on your writing, but no grade will be posted until the electronic copy is received. I will post comments on your papers through Eagle Online as time permits.

* your name, date, and course number on top right of first page.

* number all pages: Last name / page number.

* footnote (not endnote) all quoted material. Footnoting of source material is a critical component of your paper. Failure to footnote–i.e., giving due credit to other people’s work–is considered plagiarism. See the section on plagiarism for penalties.

* a Bibliography is required for all major (1800 words or more) papers. Required papers not having a bibliography will face significant loss of points; optional papers that do not have a required bibliography will not be accepted.

* WORD COUNT: (3000 Words) the actual body of the paper will determine the word count. Your name, class info, titles or headings, date, page numbers are not counted. Footnotes and bibliographies are also not counted – these have their own requirements.

* 5 books and 5 journals articles MUST be in your bibliography. That is the minimum requirement.

* significant points may be deducted if the above formatting requirements are not followed!

Footnoting and Bibliographies

Perhaps one of the most difficult things to master when writing research papers is footnoting and creating a bibliography. Both are necessary components for any major paper you will write during your academic career, whether in History or any other subject.

The good news is that it really isn’t all that difficult, once you know what you are doing. Even better, there are a number of websites available to help you.

WHEN TO FOOTNOTE

Knowing when to footnote something is actually quite simple: whenever you are using or referring to somebody else’s work in your own! Failing to give someone else credit for their work–or claiming it as your own is plagiarism, which is to say: cheating. Don’t do it. It is always found out, often with embarrassing consequences.

Yet in History, as with virtually every other subject, you will often have to refer to other people’s work in order to complete your own. This is fine. In fact, judicious use of others’ authoritative work adds to your work’s credibility. The only requirement is to give credit where credit is due.

HOW TO FOOTNOTE

So, you have to footnote. How do you do it? First, there is a specific format to follow to footnote correctly. Once you know that, it’s only a matter of adding it to your paper. Using a word processor such as MS Word makes it relatively easy.

Format

While there are several possible styles to footnoting, the CHICAGO STYLE OF WRITING will be usedally used for History papers. This is the format I expect you to use for your papers in this class. There are many websites where you can get information on the Chicago Style of Writing. I have listed three below:

(1) The Long Island University web page on Chicago Style is simple, straightforward, colorful, and easy to use. The component parts of a footnote are color coded so you can see the difference in footnoting between books, articles, etc. You can access it through this link: http://www2.liu.edu/cwis/cwp/library/workshop/cittur.htm

(2) The University of Southern Mississippi website offers more detail on Chicago Style footnoting. This site provides more in-depth examples of footnotes, including how to footnote web pages, online media, databases, and so on. You can access it through this link: http://www.lib.usm.edu/help/style_guides.html

(3) The University of Wisconsin website offers everything you ever wanted to know about footnoting. You can access it through this link: U. Wisc. Turabian Handbook

Inserting a Footnote in your paper

For purposes of illustration, this example covers how you would insert a footnote in a document using Microsoft Word. Wordperfect and other advanced word processing software also include this feature, and while the actual steps involved are different, the end result should be the same.

  1. To insert a footnote in Word, the first step is to place your cursor at the place in the document where you want the numeric reference (that’s the little number that tells you to look for a footnote). This will usually be at the end of a sentence, following the period.
  2. Next, using your mouse, click on ‘Insert’in the tool bar at the top of your screen. A drop-down box will open with all of the options for ‘Insert’.
  3. Click on the ‘Footnote’ option in the ‘Insert’ drop-down box. This will open the ‘Footnote and Endnote’ pop-up window. Select ‘Footnote’, not ‘Endnote’ – choosing endnote puts all of your footnotes at the end of the paper instead of at the bottom of the page.
  4. Click ‘OK’. You will note that your screen divided in half. The top half contains the document you were working on. Note the small number where your cursor was.

Also note that your cursor is now in the bottom half of your screen, to the right of the corresponding footnote number. This is where you will enter the footnote. It could be a comment or a Turabian-style reference to work you are using in this paper.

  1. To continue, you can close the bottom half of your screen, OR you can simply return to where you were working in the top half and continue.

…and that’s all there is to it!

CREATING A BIBLIOGRAPHY

The second thing you must have for any research paper is a Bibliography, also known as a ‘Works Cited’ page. This is a summary of all the materials by author that you referred to in your paper, and follows the end of your paper.

As you will see, the format of the entries in a Bibliography are nearly identical to the format of footnotes. In addition to links on the three websites listed above, I have listed two other websites that can specifically help you with creating a bibliography:

(1) The Encarta website gives a geneal overview of what you’ll need. It’s simple and straightforward, and covers most of the sources you’re likely to use for papers in this class. You can access it through this link: Encarta Bibliography Info

(2) The Concordia website is more comprehensive and shows you an example of entries in a Bibliography. It is a .pdf file, so you will need an Adobe Acrobat reader to access it. If you don’t have one installed, you will probably get a pop-up window along with a link which will allow you to download and install the software. It is free and something you will use quite often in other research. The link to Concordia is: http://www.cui.edu/StudentLife/Writing-Center/index.aspx?id=20517

…AND IF ALL ELSE FAILS

Ask me, either before or after class or through an email through our class Eagle Online site. If you’re having a problem, chances are others are as well. Don’t be shy about getting the information you need, and don’t wait until it’s too late.

* significant points may be deducted if the above formatting requirements are not followed!

Sample Topics:

World War II

World War I

Great Depression

NASA

Civil Rights Movements

Vietnam

Rock and Roll

 

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