History 270.001

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Dr. Butros' Thirteen Points to Happy Paper Writing
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Required Guidelines for Preparing and
Formatting Term Papers and Essays

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Sample Papers to View and Consult
Paper with Endnotes or Paper with Footnotes
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Requirements for Essays and Papers

  1. Late Policy
  2. Term Paper
  3. Form and Execution of the Papers
  4. Term Paper Correction
  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 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. Term Paper

    Paper Due date: April 10, 2007.
    Annotated Bibliography Due date: March 13
    Length: 7-8 pages.

    Topic: Students are required to complete a term paper on a specific topic of their choice related to ancient 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 write the paper). Papers with unapproved topics will not receive passing grades. 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
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    III. Form and Execution of the Papers

    Format: All papers should be 7-8 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 type. The term paper must include: (1) cover page (do not repeat paper title and course info on page 1); (2) type-written page numbers (except on page 1); (3) citations (i.e., footnotes or endnotes); (4) separate Bibliography-page. The cover page and the bibliography do not count toward the required number of pages. Pagination begins on the first page of text.

    All papers should be submitted in paper format. Papers submitted electronically via e-mail or on diskette are unacceptable, since formatting changes can occur when transferring files between computers. 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.

    Execution: In the preparation and execution of all papers for the class, 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 block quotations, citations, footnotes or endnotes, and bibliographies. Look over Chapters 8-10 to compare their forms and styles.

    Use footnotes or endnotes only. Do not use parenthetical references. That means you cannot put references in parentheses at the ends of the sentences. Choose the type of reference you want throughout your paper: footnotes or endnotes (+ "Bibliography"). Read Turabian's chapter 11 (pp. 185-213) to compare their 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 or endnote.
    "B" refers to the form of the citation when it is used in a bibliography.

    Look over the two forms, and compare them, they are not the same. Also, footnotes come at the bottom of each page, while endnotes are all grouped together at the end of the paper, in a single list, on their own page, ahead of the Bibliography. Endnotes should not be confused with parenthetical references. Be aware that History papers take a "Bibliography" not a "Works Cited" list. See the sample papers (at the link above) for examples of correct footnotes, endnotes, 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. Four copies of Turabian are located in the College of Charleston Library: two in the Reference Section, two on Permanent Reserve. Copies are also available for purchase in the College Bookstore and any other good bookstore. The Writing Lab can 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 are factors in grading papers. If you are uncertain of your spelling, use a dictionary. Spell-check programs have only minimum utility for papers on ancient history. You must proofread your paper manually before submitting it, and make any final corrections cleanly in ink, if necessary!!

    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; it also includes the logical arrangement of an argument and the rational ordering of historical and textual data to support a particular historical interpretation. Poor form can impede the communication of a valid interpretation. When a paper cannot communicate due to a lapse of form, it has failed in its purpose.

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

    IV. Term Paper Correction

    As part of correcting each term paper, the professor could complete a "Term Paper and Essay Correction Key" and attach it to the paper returned to the student. This form identifies in a clear and consistent manner issues and problems within the paper pertaining to argumentation, historical writing style, and formatting. The professor's handwritten corrections in the margins of the term paper would refer to numbered points on the correction key, identifying specific issues. All those issues will also be checked off on the key, so that in one list, students can see all the issues dogging their papers.

    Before preparing their term papers, students should open and print out a blank copy of the correction key from this Web page and use it to help organize, format, and write their papers. It contains a list of the issues that the professor is looking for, or which he is considering when grading the paper--in addition to the historical analyses. 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
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    V. Submission of Early Drafts

    Students are strongly encouraged to submit a preliminary draft of their essay and paper to the instructor for comment. The instructor will review it to ensure clarity, direction, and adherence to format. The draft will not be graded. Students should submit a draft not later than two (2) weeks before the paper's deadline.

    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!).

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

    As of now, only very few peer-reviewed professional--specifically Egyptological--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 your course reader and in Egyptological and Near Eastern literature-anthologies in the College library. Because Egyptological 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).

    Where professional peer-reviewed academic journals and books do exist in cyberspace, they are usually digital versions of paper journals and books, and they are collected into archives and full-text databases for easy searching and consultation, such as Jstore® (https://www.jstor.org.nuncio.cofc.edu/jstor/), Project Muse™ (https://muse.jhu.edu.nuncio.cofc.edu/search/search.pl), Infotrac® and others. The College of Charleston Libraries subscribes to many of these archives, and they are found on the libraries' web pages under the link, "Databases" (https://www.cofc.edu/~library/search_collection/databases.html#j). Students do not need the instructor's approval to consult and quote from these journals, books and sources.

    Students may freely consult reliable Web pages in their research to identify issues and research directions or printed sources of data. However, under no circumstances may students quote from the unprofessional Egypto-crypto-rubbish-bilge [no. 4] (usually identifiable by the domain-marker ".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.

    GENERAL RULE: Students may not quote from any public Web pages, including translations, reports, and essays, without prior approval of the instructor. However, they may quote without restriction from those electronic journals, sources and books located through the catalog and databases of the College of Charleston Libraries (see above). Each violation of this rule found in a paper will receive a five-point (5) grade reduction.

    VII. 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 (https://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" (https://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 checked with software and Web sites designed to identify such activites. Besides, the instructor is VERY(!) familiar with most Web essays and sites pertaining to ancient Egypt.

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