GUIDELINES FOR RESEARCHING AND WRITING THE PAPER
I. WHERE TO START:
1. Pick a topic! You have to turn in a
topic to me,
via email, by class time on the date specified by your syllabus. Be as specific as possible,
although I know the topic will be
developed more as you do more research. Include with your topic at least one source, if you can. No clue about topics? Start with one of the chapters in your textbook, or in
your sourcebook, and do some basic reading on it. Or come see me, and we will brainstorm.
suggestions on finding a topic:
start with the most general ideas.
field (economics, religion, warfare, politics, women, society, culture,
etc.) interests you? Or focus on one particular person, event, place.
2. Go to the library, and find one or two good secondary sources on the topic. This will also help you focus the topic, and start the research process.
II. RESEARCHING THE TOPIC:
1. Start with those one or two secondary sources (you will need at least three for the paper). As you read in these books, take a look at their bibliographies and footnotes; use the
sources they use. This is the best way to start finding materials. What books our library does not have in their collection can probably be borrowed through interlibrary loan.
Journals are an excellent and indispensable source of material for
papers, both secondary
and primary (use the primary sources they quote from if you cannot
primary sources in translation printed on their own). At the Eureka homepage, go to the Databases and Periodical Indexes page. The following indexes are the best for finding
journal articles on your topic:
JSTOR (start with this one)
4. Primary Sources. You have to use at least one primary source for this paper, two or three would be best. The best thing to do is check the bibliographies of your
sources for the editions they used; I will help each of you
individually if you
find anything. If you cannot find
a primary source published or printed
independently, use the primary sources quoted in your secondary sources.
III. WRITING THE PAPER:
Papers are due by the date assigned in your syllabus.
You may turn them in to me at the beginning of class
time, or to my office (Tahoe 3059)
by 5 pm that day. Anything
turned in after 5 pm will not be accepted. THERE WILL BE NO EXTENSIONS!
can also turn the paper in early.
If you want me to read a rough draft, I would be
HAPPY to do so, but make sure that you give me a week to read it and to
back to you.
All papers must be typed,
double-spaced. Make sure that your
name appears somewhere
on the paper; either on a separate cover sheet or on the first page. Cover sheets,
however, are not necessary. Proofread! Proofreading means more than just spell checking on your computer, although you should do that as well. The paper must be 10-12
pages long. This page length does not include any illustrations, charts, or your bibliography and footnotes. In other words, you need ten to twelve full pages of actual text.
Each page, except your title page if you have one, must be numbered; use Arabic not Roman numerals. The cover sheet is not numbered and is not counted. Page one is the
first page of actual text.
All papers must have a title. I do not care what font you use, as long as it is not too big (no Geneva!!!); use one inch margins on all sides.
3. All papers must have a bibliography, and remember that you need at least three secondary sources and one primary sources (more would be better). The bibliography is
the last page of the paper. The bibliography is a numbered page; if you
eleven pages of text, the bibliography is page twelve.
Bibliographic examples are given at
the end of this guide.
4. All papers must have documented sources. Cite only information that is specifically from one source. General information does not have to be cited. For instance, if you state "Charlemagne became emperor in 800," that information does not have to be cited. If you quote or refer to one particular author's opinion about Charlemagne or his rule, that opinion has to be cited.
In general, for
historical research, quotations are limited to primary sources; secondary sources are paraphrased, or
summarized. So you can quote from
Life of Charlemagne,
would paraphrase from a book about it. Both
quotations and paraphrases should be cited. Use
the Chicago Style of citation
(footnotes or endnotes) not the MLA Style (parenthetical). If you quote more than two lines of a text, use the block quote style: indent in an extra inch on either side, and single space within the quote.
5. Avoid plagiarism! Do not copy from books, sources, or from your classmates.
6. Polish your paper. Do not just string together paraphrases or quotes; integrate your ideas. Organize your paper around ideas and topics that relate to your primary
secondary texts, then use the primary texts to illustrate those ideas. Proofread!!!!! Use
a spell-checking program, but do more.
It is a good idea to read your work aloud;
that is when you will find awkward phrasing and poor transitions. If you have any questions about grammar, use the William Strunk Jr. Elements of Style on the Internet, or at the bookstore. Do not use slang or contractions in formal writing.
italics for titles of books and journals, use quotation marks for
journal articles. Also use italics for any foreign (i.e. non-English
words). Capitalize the titles of
people only if it is attached to a name, so king would not be capitalized unless you gave a particular king's name: King Louis XIV, for instance.
EXAMPLES OF DOCUMENTATION
a. Books: Fraser, Antonia. The Weaker Vessel. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984.
Author. Title. City where published: Publishing company, year published.
b. Articles: Bennett, Judith M. "Medievalism and Feminism." Speculum. 68 (April, 1993: 309-332.
Author. Title of article. Journal title. Volume (Date published): page numbers.
c. Internet: Richmond, Yale. "Russian Orthodoxy." Russian / American Contrasts. 3 December 1997. <http://www.goehner.com/russinfor.htm> (15 March 1998)
Author (last name first). Title of article. Title of web site. date written. <web address> (date accessed).
II. Citing Sources.
A. Chicago Style can be either footnotes (at the bottom of the page) or endnotes, where all the citations are gathered together on a separate page at the end of the paper, before the bibliography. The first time book or article is cited, you give the full information. For each of the following times you cite the same book or article, you give the author's name, and page number. If you use more than one book or article by the same author, after the first citation you use the author's name, a shortened form of the title, and the page number. Indent the first line only of a foot or endnote.
a. Books: Antonia Fraser, The Weaker Vessel (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984), pp. 133-34.
Author, Title (City where published: Publishing company, year published), page numbers.
subsequent reference to this book, use a short version:
Fraser, p. 145.
If citing from one page,
use p. If citing from more than one page, use pp.
Thus: p. 145 or pp. 145-150.
b. Articles: Judith M. Bennett, "Medievalism and Feminism," Speculum 68 (April 1993): 310.
Author, "Title of article," Journal title Volume (Date published): page number.
c. Internet: Yale Richmond, "Russian Orthodoxy," Russian / American Contrasts,
3 December 1997, <http://www.goehner.com/russinfo.htm> (15 March 1998).
Author, "Title of article," Web Site Title, date written, <web address> (date accessed).