History 370

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
Sample Research Paper
(to view and consult)

  1. Late Policy
  2. Symposium Panel Papers
  3. Form and Execution of the Papers
  4. Term Paper Correction Key
  5. Using the World Wide Web for Research
  6. 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). Symposium paper packets must be submitted in person to the instructor; failing that, they may be submitted in person to the History Department (Maybank 315), where the departmental administrators will certify and date-stamp their arrival. The instructor is not responsible for any papers simply dropped off at his office or shoved under his door. 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. Symposium Panel Papers

    Start date: November 3, 2011
    Paper due dates: One week after each presentation (see Web pages for dates)
    Length: 5-6 pages each, contributing to 25-30 pages.

    Group Project: Panel Symposium on Medicine and Pathology in Ancient Egypt: In the last four weeks of the term beginning November 3, students will form panels of 5-6 students each and present written studies to the class on the various specializations in ancient Egyptian medicine and medical practice or the palaeopathology of specific diseases and conditions, treatments, religious connections, etc. They will answer questions on how the Egyptians conceived of the body and of curing it of ailments and disease. Each panel will develop an over-arching theme, based on a subject worked out with the professor. Panel members will divide the topic and choose and research the relevant issues or approaches to the topic. Each member will contribute to his/her panel by drafting a 5 to 6-page white paper on their specific issue or dataset that contributes to the whole, and each will present that paper to the class as part of the panel's presentation. The essence of a white paper is that it is an authoritative report, i.e., a research paper reporting on a specific issue or series of related issues. Here they might divide the topic by the type of evidence (e.g., texts, archaeology, palaeopathology, pharmacopoeia, religion and magic, etc.). Completion of the panel white paper is required to pass this course.

    Panel Organization. Each panel will select a chairperson to coordinate the panel's activities. Members of the panels will devise the individual topics or approaches to be included, then assign them among themselves. During each panel's presentation, the chairperson will describe the overall issues and direction of the panel, present the thesis statement or theme, and introduce each white paper. Then each student (including the chair), will present his/her own white paper to the class as part of their panel's program. A question and answer session with the class will follow.

    Written Paper. Students will write up their white papers formally under their own names and combine them with the other white papers of their panels. These will be assembled in a binder or folder making 25-30 pages plus common introductory pages and a single comprehensive bibliography (not included in the 25-30 pages). Panel papers are usually due one week after the classroom presentation (see specific dates on the "Reading Assignments"-page).

    Suggestions. Panels might, for example, consider the who, what, how and why of certain diseases and conditions, the evidence for them and their treatments, and data culled from mummies and archaeology. Arguments should be specific and supported by the original texts, the archaeological record, pathological study of mummy remains, etc.

    III. Form and Execution of the Papers

    Panel Paper Format. The symposium panel paper is a package containing all the individual white papers of its members. It should be typewritten, 25-30 pages in length. In addition, it should include: title page, table of contents, short introduction, and single common bibliography (for all the white papers contained). These do not count toward the required number of pages of the panel paper. Panel members are responsible to combine their bibliographies into a single one, and to draft a thesis statement--or theme--of the combined panel paper, which will appear as the introduction. The panel paper must contain a table of contents denoting the titles and authors of each white paper. See Turabian's Manual for proper forms of title pages, tables of contents, and bibliographies.

    White Paper Format: Individual white papers should be 5-6 pages in length, type-written, with 1-inch margins on both sides, top, and bottom. The text should be double spaced and in 12-point, Times-Roman font (no exceptions). The text of the footnotes are single spaced with a double space between each note.

    Each white paper must include:

    1. paper title and author's name on the first page of text above the first paragraph (just as the title and author of a journal article--no separate cover page for the white paper);
    2. type-written page numbers throughout;
    3. citations as footnotes at the bottom of each page;
    4. rational argumentation based in the historical method, including:
      1. a thesis statement in the introduction;
      2. an argument in the body of the white paper;
      3. a conclusion.

    Pagination begins on the first page of text. The use of illustrations, drawings and images in the final text is highly discouraged. If they do occur, they do not count toward the required number of pages. If students have any questions regarding form and format, they should consult the professor.

    Execution: In the preparation and execution of all papers, students are required to follow the format presented by Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 6th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), especially in regard to the style of cover page, table of contents, block quotations, citations, footnotes, and bibliographies. Look over Chapters 8-10 to compare their forms and styles.

    All papers should be submitted in paper form. Papers submitted electronically via e-mail or on diskette are unacceptable, since formatting changes do occur when transferring files between computers, and it is not the professor's responsibility to print out copy. 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.

    Footnote Format, Spacing, etc. Use footnotes only. Footnotes come 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. 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 XXXX1John 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.

    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. If you do not know the commands, learn them! However, be aware that the default format for footnotes in most word processors does not conform to the requirements of Turabian's Manual nor 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. Also, 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.

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

    Kate Turabian's A Manual for Writers is the official style-manual 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 manual and learn it! Do not try to "wing" it or fudge the format. Any papers that do not conform to Turabian will be graded accordingly. Copies of Turabian are located in the College of Charleston Library Reference Section and on Permanent Reserve. Exerpts are also available on-line on the Internet. The Writing Lab can also advise any student personally in Turabian's format.

    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.

    Form and spelling will be factors in grading the final term 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 "Hammurabi" and "Hammurapi". Choose one convention and stay with it.

    IV. Term Paper Correction Key

    Before preparing their term 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. 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 ancient 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:

    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 (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!).

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

    As of now, very few peer-reviewed professional--specifically Egyptological or 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 Egyptological/Near Eastern literature-anthologies in the College library. Because such 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: Jstore® (http://www.jstor.org/), Project Muse™ (http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/), and Infotrac™ (http://web7.infotrac.galegroup.com/). The College of Charleston Library subscribes to many of these archives, and they are found in the College's library catalogue under the heading, "Electronic Journals by Title" (http://www.cofc.edu/library/ej_title.html). 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 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.

    VI. Policy on Plagiarism

    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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