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
Model Thesis Statement and
Model Senior Research Paper|
(to view and consult)
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.
Topic: Students are required to complete a capstone senior research paper on a specific topic of their choice within the subject of warfare and diplomacy in ancient Egypt and the Near East (ideally combining textual sources with material culture). They should consult the list of "List of Potential Themes and Issues for Research Papers," 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 develop a focus and to ensure feasibility. All topics must be approved in advance by the instructor (i.e., before the student has actually begun to prepare the thesis statement and bibliography). The professor must continue to approve the development of the topic and approach as the papers move through their successsive drafts, and he has the authority to require changes if he deems an approach is lacking or not working. Papers with unapproved topics will not receive passing grades.
Drafts: Students will submit written work and successive drafts as their papers evolve over the course of the term, progressing from thesis statement with preliminary bibliography (9/26) to annotated bibliography and preliminary outline (10/10), then first draft (11/2), second draft (11/14), and final version of the finished paper (11/30). Completion of the senior research paper is required to pass this course and to graduate from the College of Charleston with a degree in History. No exceptions or extensions can be made.
Oral Reports on Papers: In keeping with the seminar format, students make periodic presentations to the class as they submit their successive drafts. For the first draft of their papers, they must make a give an informal talk to the class on their topic, including their research efforts, strategies, preliminary findings, and where they think they are heading with the paper in order to generate a discussion on the subject. After the second drafts have been submitted, students will make formal presentations on their papers, and each student will summarize main points and lead a proactive class discussion on the topic.
Conferences: Over the course of the seminar, students are required to meet in conference with the professor at regular intervals (either in class or in the office) in order to discuss the progress of their research papers, including, e.g., issues related to defining the topic, identifying bibliography, evaluating direction and research notes, annotating the bibliography, laying out the preliminary outline, and preparing drafts of the text. Levels of the students' commitment and participation in these conferences will be reflected in their participation 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. At any time, the instructor has the authority to change the direction of any paper or to refocus a topic if he deems the current direction or focus is unproductive enough to harm the final grade. Failure to comply means the paper becomes inadmissable.
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Reflective Essay (3-5 pp.): They must also write a brief Reflective Essay on how their understanding of history has developed since the beginning of their studies at the College. Students are provided with a specific instructions prepared by Emerita Prof. Amy McCandless which should help them organize their essays. The Reflective Essay may be submitted electroniclly. Submission of the portfolio and Reflective Essay is required to pass the seminar and complete the History Major.
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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 the Chicago Manual of Style or its adjunct, 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. In Turabian, 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.
You will find various extracts of the Chicago Manual of Style and Turabian's Manual at the following Web addresses (n.b.: these are not replacements for full Turabian's Manual!):
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 Model Senior Research Paper.
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:
The content of the paper should consist of rational argument based in the historical method, including:
The cover page and the bibliography do not count toward the required number of 25 pages (minimum). Pagination begins on the first page of the 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 research 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. Papers with parenthetical references will not be accepted. 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 the Chicago Manual of Style or 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!!
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):
"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 research 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 carefully before submitting it. If you find any last-minute errors, you must make the corrections in the computer and reprint the affected pages. If the error reformats the rest of the paper, then you must reprint the entire paper. The paper must be an exquisitely clean copy without any handwritten additions. Note that if you employ a spell-check program, it will not help in spelling ancient and foreign names. So you must be conscious of spelling throughout.
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.
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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:
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.|
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. 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.|