History 270

INFORMATION CENTRAL: Guidelines, Advice & Essays for Writing History Papers
click here to open advice on primary texts
Dr. Butros' Thirteen Points to Happy Paper Writing
Required Guidelines for Preparing and
Formatting Term Papers and Essays
What is Historical Writing? FROM QUERIES TO ANSWERS:
A Taxonomy of Historical Questioning
The Scientific Method and the
Historical Method
Sample Research Paper
(to view and consult)

Requirements for Essays and Papers

  1. Late Policy
  2. Research Paper
  3. Form and Execution of the Papers
  4. Term Paper Correction Key
  5. Submission of Early Drafts
  6. Using the World Wide Web for Research
  7. Policy on Plagiarism

    I. Late Policy

    Late papers will be penalized 5 points for each day late (including Saturdays), up to three days, after which they will be graded no higher than a 59% (F). All papers must be submitted in person to the instructor; failing that, they may be submitted in person to the History Department (Maybank 203), where the departmental administrators will certify and date-stamp their arrival. The instructor cannot e responsible for any papers simply dropped off at his office or shoved under his door when he is not there. Regrettably, such papers cannot be deemed to have been submitted on time. Note that day 2 and day 3 after the submission date is Thanksgiving holiday, and nobody will be in the History Department to accept your paper. Completion of the paper (even if it has a failing grade) is required to pass this course.

    II. Research Paper

    Paper Due date: April 13
    Annotated Bibliography Due date: March 23
    Length: 7-8 pages.

    Topic: Students are required to complete a research paper on a specific topic of their choice which combines a study of land or environmental issues with Egyptian social or political history or issues in Egyptian historical archaeology (combining textual sources with material culture). They should consult the list of "Subject Areas and Themes for the Term Paper," found here on these web pages. They should also refer to the extensive Course Bibliography to help identify sources and narrow topics. Then they must confer with the instructor on the topic to ensure feasibility. All topics must be approved in advance by the instructor (i.e., before the student has actually begun to prepare the bibliography). Papers with unapproved topics will not receive passing grades. The specific requirements for the paper are described on the course Web pages under "Paper Requirements"-link. Completion of the essay is required to pass this course.

    Annotated Bibliography. Students are required to submit an annotated bibliography for their paper, which will be graded, and to meet with the instructor to discuss issues and strategies related to the topic and the writing. This session with the instructor will constitute a percentage of the bibliography grade.

    Subject Areas, Themes and Topics: Students develop a specific topic for the paper, with the approval of the instructor, from a list of a general themes or subject areas that interest them. This list of "Subject Areas and Themes for the Term Paper" is provided here.

    Subject Areas and Themes for the Term Paper
    click to open

    III. Form and Execution of the Papers

    See document above, "Required Guidelines for Preparing and Formatting Term Papers and Essays," for specific requirements on formatting and writing this paper. The paper must have a specific thesis, and it ahould have a succinct title which reflects that thesis. Please feel free to consult the instructor at any time for advice on preparing the papers or about writing strategies. Students may also consult the College Writing Lab (http://csl.cofc.edu/labs/writing-lab/index.php) for assistance in organizing and preparing this paper. The lab is located in Addlestone Library, Room 116, and it is operated by the college's Center for Student Learning. (http://www.cofc.edu/~csl/).

    Required Style Guide. In the preparation and execution of all papers for the class, students are required to follow the style and format presented by Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 6th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), especially in regard to the style of block quotations, citations (i.e., footnotes ), and bibliographies. Look over Chapters 8-10 to compare their forms and styles. Turabian's style, also called the "Chicago style," is the official style-guide of the History Department of the College of Charleston. This style is recognized throughout the world for academic writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences. If you are not familiar with this format, open the book and learn it! Do not try to "wing" it or fudge the format. Any papers that do not conform to Turabian's Manual will be graded accordingly. Copies are located in the College of Charleston Library Reference Section and on Permanent Reserve. The Writing Lab can also advise any student in Turabian's format; it also provides a Turabian style sheet (only marginally useful!).

    You will find various extracts of Turabian's Manual at the following Web addresses (n.b.: these are not replacements for full Turabian's Manual!):

    University of Chicago Press: Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers
    Bridgewater State College: "Turabian Style: Sample Footnotes and Bibliographic Entries (6th edition)"
    Ohio State University: "Chicago Manual of Style Form Guide"
    University of Wisconsin-Madison: "Writer's Guide (Chicago Turabian Documentation)"

    Sample Papers. To see a sample of a paper using the required formats and styles for this research paper, including setup, margins, spacings, block quotations, footnotes, bibiography, etc., follow the links at the top of this page marked Sample Papers.

    Format. All research papers should be printed in black ink on 8.5x11-inch white paper, with 1-inch margins all around. The paper must include:

    1. cover page (do not repeat paper title and course information on page 1 of text);
    2. text typed double spaced and in 12-point type (not Helvetica, Arial or any ornamental font);
    3. type-written page numbers on all pages except cover sheet and page 1;
    4. citations (footnotes only; no endnotes or parenthesis-notes; The footnotes are single-spaced with a double space between each note.
    5. separate Bibliography-page

    The content of the paper should consist of rational argument based in the historical method, including:

    1. an introduction presenting the issues and containing a thesis statement;
    2. the body of the paper with argument and analyses following the rules of historical interpretation (see the "Taxonomy of Historical Questioning" above.
    3. a conclusion which neatly ties up the argument and validates the findings in light of the thesis statement.

    The cover page and the bibliography do not count toward the required number of 8-10 pages. Pagination begins on the first page of text. See link above, "Suggestions and Advice on Preparing and Formatting Term Papers and Essays," for detailed information, advice, and suggestions on form, format, and grading criteria for the term paper.

    Papers should be submitted in paper format only. Papers submitted electronically via e-mail are unacceptable, since: (1) formatting changes can occur when transferring files between computers; (2) it is not the responsibility of the History Department to print out students' papers.

    Citations: Required Footnotes. Footnotes are required in this paper. Footnotes occur at the bottom of each page. Do not use parenthetical references. That means do not put references in parentheses at the ends of the sentences. A 3-point grade reduction will be taken for each occurence of a parenthetical reference. Do not attempt to create and number footnotes manually. Use the proper footnote commands to make the word processing software create and number footnotes automatically. However, be aware that the default format for footnotes in most word processors does not conform to the requirements of Turabian's Manual nor to historical writing. For example, some word processors will automatically use Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, etc.), instead of required Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.), or they will incorrectly use a smaller type-font in the notes than in the text. The font size inside footnotes is always the same as the main text, not smaller (12-point, Times-Roman). Lines of text inside footnotes are always single spaced--but with a double space between notes! If necessary, change the default settings of the software to meet these requirements. In many word processors, one must manually type a carriage return at the end of each note to create the required double space between notes. Use only full-featured word processor programs to type the paper, e.g., Microsoft Word or Word Perfect. Microsoft Works is usually inadequate, since it does not contain all the features necessary for college level academic writing or for Turabian's Manual.

    Students are encouraged not to rely on research paper templates found on the Internet to format their papers properly. These services, e.g., Google Docs, EDocs (ezdocs.wordpress.com) etc., do not provide consistently reliable templates for proper format and punctuation, which then results in grade reductions. Students are encouraged to use the Turabian/Chicago writing guides, as well as the sample paper provided above and to consult the Writing Lab or the professor on formatting issues.

    Whatever you do, do not employ the MLA style of
    parenthetical references in your history papers!!

    IMPORTANT: Footnote numbers always run in a single series beginning with the number "1". Each note takes its own unique number in sequence that is never repeated in the paper. Notes never(!!) repeat the same number (see Turabian, Manual, 8.7-16). See Sample Papers above for proper convention in numbering and organizing footnotes. If anyone tells you that you may use repeating footnote numbers (including the Writing Lab!), they are wrong!! A 3-point grade reduction in the paper will be taken for each identically numbered footnote.

    Be conscientious to note the sources of all facts, thoughts, and ideas that you use from other books and articles in your paper, whether or not you actually quote them directly. Even paraphrases must be footnoted. As a rule of thumb, do not quote class-lecture notes. If you want to quote material mentioned in class, you should go find it in published sources among the course readings, and quote from there. If you cannot find the source among the readings, see the instructor for advice.

    Footnote Format, Spacing, etc. Punctuation and form within footnotes depend on the type of publication cited, Read Turabian's chapter 11 (pp. 185-213) to compare the various forms and styles. N.B.: Turabian's Manual uses the following conventions (e.g., p. 187):

    11.3 N XXXX 1John Hope Franklin, George Washington Williams: A Biography (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985), 54.
    B Franklin, John Hope. George Washington Williams: A Biography. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985.
    "N" refers to the form of the citation when it is used in a footnote.
    "B" refers to the form of the citation when it is used in a bibliography.

    As a rule of thumb, do not quote class-lecture notes in the paper. If you want to quote material mentioned in class, Go find it in the published sources among the course readings, and quote from there. The first place to look is in the bibliography at the end of the appropriate chapter in the course textbook. If you cannot find the source among the course readings, see the instructor for advice. Please feel free to consult the instructor at any time for advice and suggestions on preparing the paper.

    Bibliography. History papers take a "Bibliography" not a "Works Cited"-list. See the sample paper (at the link above) for examples of correct footnotes and bibliography. The Bibliography comes at the end of the paper beginning on a separate page of its own. It is a listing of each book and article quoted or cited earlier in the footnotes. Do not list any sources that you did not actually footnote in the paper. All the books and articles are listed in alphabetical order according to the last name of the author. Although you can cite a reference as many times as necessary in the footnotes, in the Bibliography, you may list each entry only once. Similarly, do not list each primary text-reference separately in the bibliography if they come from the same anthology. List only the anthology in which it is published, and list it only once.

    Form and spelling are factors in grading a research or project paper. If you are uncertain of your spelling, use a dictionary. You must proofread your paper before submitting it, and make any minor last-minute corrections cleanly in ink, if necessary!!. A few handwritten corrections will be tolerated; more than a few will lower your grade. If you employ a word processor, use a spell-check program. Admittedly, that will not be of help in spelling foreign names. So you will need to be conscious of spelling throughout.

    Why the emphasis on form? A research paper is a means of communication. The purpose of any paper is to convey an argument as logically as possible according to standards of form that facilitate its communicative function. Form is not merely format and correct spelling but also includes the logical arrangement of an argument and the rational ordering of historical and textual data to support a particular interpretation. Poor form can impede the communication of a valid point of view. When a paper cannot communicate due to a lapse of form, it has failed in its purpose.

    Conventions in Transcribing Near Eastern Names. Among the instructor's lectures, course readings, and outside sources, you will probably find different conventions in the English spellings of ancient Near Eastern names. When you write your papers, whichever convention you use, be consistent, e.g., do not write "Tuthmosis" one time and "Thutmose" later, or "Ramesses" and "Ramses". Choose one convention and stay with it.

    IV. Term Paper Correction Key

    Before preparing their research papers, students should open and print out a copy of the professor's "Term Paper and Essay Correction Key, from this Web page and use it to help organize, format, and write their papers. This form identifies in a clear and consistent manner typical issues and problems pertaining to argumentation, historical writing style, and formatting. It contains a list of the format and logic issues that the professor is considering when grading a paper--in addition to historical analysis. Hence, "forewarned is forearmed." If students know ahead of time the problems and pitfalls that can affect their paper's grade, they can strive to avoid them, as they research, organize, and compose the term paper.

    Term Paper and Essay Correction Key
    click to open

    V. Review of Early Drafts

    Students may meet with the professor in his office to review a preliminary draft of their paper. The paper should be at a point in which at least the first draft is complete with thesis statement, argument, conclusion, and footnotes. Professor and student will review the paper together answer questions and to ensure clarity and soundness of the argument, direction, and adherence to format. The draft will not be graded. Students should make an appointment for a review not later than one week before the paper's deadline. In general, such reviews often result in the paper achieving a grade one-half or a whole letter-grade higher than if they did not submit an early draft.

    VI. Using the World Wide Web for Research

    Use the Web to research topics and 
	issues, but do not quote or paraphrase from the Web without prior permission of 
	the instructor.

    Students should confine the bulk of their research to printed publications, although they may use the World Wide Web selectively to help research the paper topic and to identify valid issues. A great deal of information exists on the Web pertaining to the ancient Near East and Egypt. However, the Web also houses a whole lot of trash that does not conform to modern academic standards. In general, the World Wide Web contains four types of materials pertaining to Egypt and the Near East:

    1. primary sources, i.e. editions of original ancient inscriptions translated and presented by reputable scholars, often used as classroom resources on the Web;

    2. original archaeological reports and field data by archaeologists and bona fide researchers;

    3. synthetical studies and essays prepared by Egyptologists and Assyriologists (often as Web versions of reputable printed publications);

    4. materials, idiosyncratic essays, and polemical tracts of uneven and inconsistent quality, prepared by non-professionals, dilettantes, radical Afro-centrists, and self-proclaimed prophets of the New Age revelation (yikes!). Because such essays are unvetted and have not undergone peer-review by qualified academics, they are not appropriate as source materials for research papers.

    Sadly, this latter Egypto-crypto-trash [no. 4] constitutes the bulk of Egyptological and Assyriological materials on the Web.

    As of now, very few peer-reviewed professional--specifically Near Eastern--journals are published on the Web (see below). Publicly available primary sources on the Web [no. 1] are usually out of copyright, obsolete translations superceded by modern translations in print. For the purposes of this course, students are permitted to quote from these, but only with the prior approval of the instructor and only if the texts are not available in print! You will find all or most of the primary sources you need in Near Eastern literature-anthologies in the College library. Because Near Eastern secondary sources on the Web are rarely peer-reviewed, students may quote from [nos. 2 & 3] but only after consulting with the course instructor on each source! Web pages for [nos. 1 - 3] are usually identifiable by the domain-markers ".edu" or ".ac" in their Web addresses, and sometimes also by ".org" (denoting educational or charitable organizations).

    Also, some professional peer-reviewed academic journals do exist on the Web. They are usually Web-versions of paper journals, and they are collected together into archives for easy searching and consultation, such as: Jstor, Academic Search Complete, Academic Search OneFile, and Infotrac. The College of Charleston Library subscribes to many of these archives, and they are found in the College's library catalogue under the heading, "Databases" (http://www.cofc.edu/library/find/databases/index.php). Students do not need the instructor's approval to consult and quote from these electronic journals archived in the College Library catalogue.

    While students can consult Web pages for [nos. 1 - 3] and quote with prior permission, under no circumstances may they quote from the unprofessional Assyro-Egypto-crypto-bilge [no. 4] (usually identifiable by the domain-markers ".com" or ".net" in their Web addresses). Students should never quote from any world encyclopedias, whether from the Web or in paper medium. If in doubt about the appropriateness of any research source--either on the Web or in print--please feel free to consult the instructor. He will be happy to examine or discuss the strengths or weaknesses of individual Web sites with you.

    Any papers that contain Web-citations without prior arrangement with the instructor will be reduced in grade five (5) points for each unapproved citation appearing in the paper.

    VII. Policy on Plagiarism

    As you prepare your papers for this course, be careful not plagiarize any of your sources. Plagiarism is copying or paraphrasing the words and ideas of others and passing them off as your own or misleading the reader into thinking that the words and ideas of other writers are your own. Any plagiarism, whether intentional or unintentional, whether blatant or merely inappropriate paraphrasing, will not be tolerated. As you prepare the term paper for this course, be careful not plagiarize any of your sources. Any plagiarism, whether intentional or unintentional, whether blatant or merely inappropriate paraphrasing, will not be tolerated. If you have any questions as you prepare your assignments, feel free to ask the advice of the instructor. If in doubt about anything, quote it--even indirect quotations! The Honor Code of the College of Charleston strictly prohibits plagiarism, cheating, and attempted cheating. A student found guilty of these offenses will be reported to the Honor Board, will fail the paper and probably the course. Additional penalties may include suspension or expulsion from the college at the discretion of the Honor Board. See the College of Charleston Student Handbook, p. 11 ( http://www.cofc.edu/student-life/handbook/handbook01-02.pdf), for definitions of these offenses. You are responsible for informing yourself of all definitions and regulations on this subject. Ignorance is not an acceptable excuse before the College Honor Board. Protect yourself; when in doubt footnote it! For examples of proper and improper quoting and paraphrasing, see also "A Guide to Freshman English" (http://www.cofc.edu/~english/Guide.html).

    It's too easy to cut and paste off the Web, but don't do it! Protect yourselves. Do not copy any text from the Internet into your paper. To ensure conformity with this policy, the term papers will be spot-checked with software and Web sites designed to identify such activites, e.g., Google® and Plagiarism.org® Besides, the instructor is VERY(!) familiar with most Web essays and sites pertaining to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.

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