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An essential writing, reading, and research tool for all history students, A Pocket Guide to Writing in Historyoffers a best-selling combination of concise yet comprehensive advice in a portable and accessible format. This quick-reference guide provides a practical introduction to typical history assignments, exercising critical reading skills, evaluating and documenting sources, writing effective history papers, conducting research, and avoiding plagiarism. Building on its time-tested approach, the seventh edition offers expanded, hands-on guidance for writing and researching in the digital age, and additional coverage on working with primary and secondary sources.
MARY LYNN RAMPOLLA (Ph.D., University of Toronto) is associate professor of history at Trinity Washington University in Washington, D.C. Her scholarly work focuses on medieval and early modern Europe, and her publications include articles in Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies and entries in the Dictionary of the Middle Ages. She is active in the fields of history and composition.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Why Study History?
How this manual can help you
2. Working with Sources
Identifying historical sources
Primary or secondary? The changing status of a source
Uses of primary and secondary sources
Evaluating primary sources
Tips for Writers: Questions for Evaluating Text-Based Primary Sources
Tips for Writers: Questions for Evaluating Nonwritten Primary Sources
Evaluating secondary sources
Tips for Writers: Questions for Evaluating Secondary Sources
Evaluating online resources
Questions for Evaluating Websites
3. Approaching Typical Assignments in History
Reading actively in history
Tips for Writers: Writing as You Read
Writing about reading
Using primary sources
Comparing primary sources
Tips for Writers: Writing a Comparative Essay
Secondary Sources: Typical Writing Assignments
Critiques and book reviews
Taking history exams
Preparing for an exam
Answering identification questions
Taking an essay exam
4. Writing History Papers
Approaching a history assignment
Thinking like a historian
Developing a thesis
Constructing an argument
Tips for Writers: Constructing a Thesis
Supporting your thesis
Responding to counterevidence and anticipating opposing viewpoints
Organizing your paper
Drafting an introduction
Writing clear and connected paragraphs
Writing an effective conclusion
Revising for content and organization
Tips for Writers: Revising for Content and Organization
Editing for style and grammar
Choosing appropriate language
Choosing the appropriate tense
Using active voice
Knowing when to use the pronouns I, me, and you
5. Writing a Research Paper
Moving from topic to research question
Choosing a topic
Focusing on a research question
Developing a research plan
Consulting human resources
Using the library's online catalog
Using print and electronic reference sources
Locating secondary sources: using print and electronic periodical databases
Tips for Writers: Electronic Databases
Finding Internet sources
Distinguishing among electronic sources
Taking effective research notes
Developing a working thesis
Making an outline
Revising and editing your paper
6. Plagiarism: What It Is and How to Avoid It
What is plagiarism?
Citing sources to avoid plagiarism
Paraphrasing to avoid plagiarism
Tips for Writers: Avoiding Plagiarism
Downloading Internet sources carefully to avoid plagiarism
Plagiarism and the Internet
7. Quoting and Documenting Sources
When to quote
How to quote
Footnotes and endnotes
Documenting nonwritten materials
Sample pages from a student research paper