Laura L. Lovett


As you are writing your paper, please consider the following guidelines. 


You must cite your sources. NO EXCEPTIONS. Plagiarism is a serious violation of expected academic conduct.  Your work must be your own.  If you quote or paraphrase work from someone else, you must give credit and provide a reference for that source.  

The Chicago Manual of Style has a good quick guide for citations using footnotes.


Please use the footnote function in your word processing software to create footnotes.



-- Paper should be typed, double-spaced in a ten or twelve point font with one inch margins on all sides.

-- Your last name and page number should beon the top of each page.

-- Recognizing that I want to engage my readers with my ideas from the very beginning, give your paper a title that reflects its argument and intrigues your readers.

-- Provide references for all quotations and paraphrases using Chicago NOTE reference style.

-- Recognizing that historians pursue an understanding of who did what in the past and why, eliminate passive sentence construction from your paper where possible and try to limit yourself to a maximum of 1-2 sentences in passive voice construction per page. This not only makes clearer your understanding of historical agency but also helps tighten your writing, making it understandable and interesting to a larger audience.

-- Recognizing that this is a formal assignment and that you want to convey as clearly as possible to my audience that you take your work seriously, carefully proofread your entire paper.



--Your introduction should grab the attention of your reader and explain why the subject of your paper is important and interesting.

-- Your paper must have a clear and disputable thesis. 

This is one of the most important parts of any paper.  Your thesis is a brief statement of the argumentative claim that you will defend and demonstrate in the rest of your paper.   Your paper should make a clear historical argument based on refutable claims that are supported by evidence.

-- Your introduction should give enough background so that your reader can understand your thesis.  

You will support and elaborate your thesis in the body of your paper. 

-- Thesis statements in history often explain how or why something happened or take a position for or against a particular interpretation of historical trends or events.


Body Paragraphs

-- In the body of your paper, you should present historical evidence that supports your thesis.

-- Each paragraph in your paper should focus on a single topic.

-- Each paragraph should clearly address some aspect of your thesis. When considered together, the paragraphs forming the body of your paper should form a coherent and convincing argument.for your thesis

-- Please use evidence from primary sources to support specific claims in each paragraph, and take care that your presentation of historical facts is clear and accurate.

--Strive for smooth transitions between paragraphs.



-- Your conclusion should reiterate the most important aspects of your argument.

-- Use your conclusion to demonstrate the significance of your argument. Make sure that your conclusion provides an answer to the question, --So what?--



-- Always write in complete sentences.

-- Proofread your paper for spelling and grammatical errors.

-- When possible, write in the active voice. For example, instead of  "The bill was passed by Congress," use "Congress passed the bill."

--REVIEW AND REVISE. Ask someone NOT in this class to read your paper before you revise it. If they cannot understand your argument or its supporting evidence, you need to rework your paper.

--DO NOT PROCRASTINATE.  Please do not turn in a paper that you have thrown together the night before it is due.




Writing Center

            Take advantage of the campus writing center!