14. What was Mao Zedong’s role in the Chinese civil war and the Korean W
1.Academic writing requires the use of formal English. Contractions (can’t, won’t, didn’t) are not to be used. Do not start sentences with numerals or dates. Abbreviations, clichés and slang are to be avoided (WW2, &, at this point in time, it sucked). The use of the pronoun I is to be avoided. It is assumed that the essay is your opinion. Anything that is not your opinion should be footnoted or endnoted if it is not common knowledge. 2. Use a style guide if you are in doubt about formal English usage. There are online style guides available to help you. If you go onto the Okanagan College website and hit Library – Style Guides – Style Guides by Subject Area – History, you will get a fine listing of history style guides. The one by Diana Hacker is good for its simplicity and clarity in explaining the Chicago style footnotes/endnotes and bibliographies that are used in history writing. http://www.okanagan.bc.ca/administration/students/library/help/guides/subject/history.html#style 3. Use as many paragraphs as it takes to convey your ideas clearly. If you remember the five paragraph essay format from grade twelve English with its introduction, three main body paragraphs and one concluding paragraph do not feel bound by it. History essays consisting of many pages cannot be limited by five paragraphs. 4. You should have some sort of thesis statement in your first paragraph. Avoid the use of flowery introduction paragraphs with massive amounts of background information. Remember that you are writing an essay and not a book. It is best to get to the heart of the issue as quickly as possible; if background information is needed give it in one or two sentences. A good thesis statement will guide you in your essay writing. 5. Watch out for myths. Yes, the Blackfoot could use every part of the buffalo, but that does not meant that they used every part of every buffalo they killed or there would not be over ten metres of bison bones and teeth at the foot of the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. In the film Braveheart the English nobles demand the “right of the first night” from Scottish brides on their wedding night. There is no evidence other than that of various Hollywood movies to back this up. You need to examine your beliefs and see what evidence there is to back them up. 6.Footnotes or Endnotes must be used in history essays. These are required for history essays and are to be done in the Chicago Style. The purpose of citations is to show your reader that you have evidence and are not just making things up. The choice of footnotes or endnotes is yours to make. Always include the page numbers of your quotations or idea citations if at all possible. They consist of a small number at the end of the sentence or quote and then a citation either at the bottom of the page (footnotes) or the end of the essay (endnotes). If you are using Microsoft Word, you hit the following tabs: Insert – Reference – Footnote. This will give you numbered footnotes. If you want endnotes hit the Endnotes option then change the Number Format back to Arabic numerals, 1,2,3, because Microsoft Word will default to Roman numerals, i, ii, iii, which are used for forwards of books. A standard citation to a book is in this format: author, title, city, publisher, date, and page number. Here is an example: Ronald Wright, Stolen Continents: The “New World” Through Indian Eyes (Toronto: Penguin, 1993) 120. A reference to an article is slightly more complicated with the author of the article given first, then the article title in quotation marks, then the book title, its editors, city, publisher, date, and page number or numbers. For more details, check out the history style guides available through the Okanagan College Library website. 7.Include a bibliography or list of works cited at the end of your essays. This is done in alphabetical order. Remember that if you list a source you should actually use it in your essay. Yes, this is a repeat of the information in your endnotes, but it makes it easier for your reader to see your sources quickly. Chicago Style is reader friendly but more work for the writer than other citation styles. 8.Plagiarism is the academic equivalent of theft! You must footnote ideas and facts as well as direct quotations.