academic essay on u.s. history and government

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Academic essay on u.s. history and government embedded c developer resume

Academic essay on u.s. history and government

Their definition and belief is that differing ideas, beliefs, convictions, and actions are what elevate the value of a particular group […]. It has come to my attention as of recent how devastating racism is today. Despite social laws and equality rights, racism still plays a huge part in society in the United States. Racism is difficult to define because […]. Human rights are rights to which all human beings are entitled, regardless of ethnicity, religion, skin color, or sex.

One can defend the essential human rights of all people by being politically active. Martin Luther King jr was a minister and civil-rights activist who had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States […]. Black History Month is a time in which we celebrate the achievements of African-Americans leaders and acknowledge the prominent role of blacks in U. Carrie Pittman Meek, a Democratic politician and educator, is one who has played an important role in public service throughout Florida.

She served in the United States House of Representatives […]. In the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson, it is evident that Jefferson believes in equal rights for the people, disregarding color or sex. The Native American society before the Europeans came to North America was split into 27 different states. Their food sources consisted of corn, potatoes, pumpkin, yams, and lima beans as they were native plants that could be farmed for human consumption. More than half of the modern American farming crops are endemic to North America.

The s was a decade characterized by the civil rights movement and its fight for inclusion within society. As the new decade started, segregation under the legal system was still considered constitutional. In , segregation was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court based on their ruling on the Brown v. Board of Education case. The […]. The hairstyle […]. The fight for social injustices we have in our society has been a long battle. One of the longest battles against the injustices in our society is the battle for civil rights.

In the early, to mids there was an uprise from African-Americans. Many people rose to lead their people in the fight. Leaders such […]. Ask yourself is Andrew Jackson good or bad? Did he do the right things? Is Andrew Jackson A hero or a villain? He was the president but not a very good one in my opinion. Also i think […]. The years between and were very exciting for the United States. There were many things going on at this time.

The United States was expanding and exploring the unknown western lands. This was the time of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition. The Louisiana Purchase was the United States had […]. Introduction The Lewis and Clark Expedition, probably the most well known, most important expedition to North America. It was key to the westward expansion of the United States. Jefferson bought the Louisiana territory in , thank you France.

He wanted to know what was there, he wanted to know what he bought. So his friend […]. After a week of leaving my family behind, I have often thought about returning. I would have never thought that I would convince myself to leave them and the state of Pennsylvania to volunteer for this cause… But I care about this country too much to not pass up this opportunity to contribute. I would […]. The Declaration of Independence has been justly celebrated since it was written and distributed on July 4, Yet one who reads it today cannot fail to be struck by a series of inconsistencies and even departures from morality.

This paper will […]. The reader usually assumes that the antecedent is the immediately preceding noun. Do not confuse the reader by having several possible antecedents. Consider these two sentences:. To what does the it refer? Forcing the Emperor to wait? The waiting itself? The granting of the audience? The audience itself?

The whole previous sentence? You are most likely to get into antecedent trouble when you begin a paragraph with this or it , referring vaguely back to the general import of the previous paragraph. When in doubt, take this test: Circle the pronoun and the antecedent and connect the two with a line. Then ask yourself if your reader could instantly make the same diagram without your help. If the line is long, or if the circle around the antecedent is large, encompassing huge gobs of text, then your reader probably will be confused.

Repetition is better than ambiguity and confusion. You confuse your reader if you change the grammatical construction from one element to the next in a series. Consider this sentence:. The reader expects another infinitive, but instead trips over the that. Note the two parts of this sentence:.

The sentence jars because the neither is followed by a noun, the nor by a verb. Keep the parts parallel. Make the parts parallel by putting the verb attacked after the not only. Do not confuse the reader with a phrase or clause that refers illogically or absurdly to other words in the sentence. Avoid following an introductory participial clause with the expletives it or there. Run-on sentences string together improperly joined independent clauses.

Consider these three sentences:. The first fuses two independent clauses with neither a comma nor a coordinating conjunction; the second uses a comma but omits the coordinating conjunction; and the third also omits the coordinating conjunction however is not a coordinating conjunction. To solve the problem, separate the two clauses with a comma and the coordinating conjunction but.

You could also divide the clauses with a semicolon or make separate sentences. Remember that there are only seven coordinating conjunctions and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet. Write in sentences. A sentence has to have a subject and a predicate.

If you string together a lot of words, you may lose control of the syntax and end up with a sentence fragment. Note that the following is not a sentence:. Here you have a long compound introductory clause followed by no subject and no verb, and thus you have a fragment. You may have noticed exceptions to the no-fragments rule. Skilful writers do sometimes intentionally use a fragment to achieve a certain effect. Leave the rule-breaking to the experts.

The first sentence has a nonrestrictive relative clause; the dates are included almost as parenthetical information. But something seems amiss with the second sentence. It has a restrictive relative clause that limits the subject World War I to the World War I fought between and , thus implying that there were other wars called World War I, and that we need to distinguish among them.

Both sentences are grammatically correct, but the writer of the second sentence appears foolish. Note carefully the distinction between that for use in restrictive clauses, with no comma and which for use in nonrestrictive clauses, with a comma. Remember—history is about what people do, so you need to be vigilant about agency. Surely, the writer meant to say that, in his analysis of imperialism, Fanon distinguishes between two kinds of hierarchy.

A comma after suggests fixes the immediate problem. Now look at the revised sentence. It still needs work. Better diction and syntax would sharpen it. Fanon does not suggest with connotations of both hinting and advocating ; he states outright. But between the elements A and B, the writer inserts Fanon a proper noun , suggests a verb , imperialists a noun , and establish a verb.

Notice that errors and infelicities have a way of clustering. If you find one problem in a sentence, look for others. Discipline your prepositional phrases; make sure you know where they end. Yet the writer intends only the first to be the object of the preposition.

Hitler is accusing the Jews of engaging , but not of stating ; he is the one doing the stating. There are two common problems here. More upset than who? The other problem, which is more common and takes many forms, is the unintended and sometimes comical comparison of unlike elements. Often the trouble starts with a possessive:. You mean to compare appetites, but you've forgotten about your possessive, so you absurdly compare an appetite to a man. Get control of your apostrophes.

Do not use the apostrophe to form plurals. This is a new error, probably a carryover from the common conversational habit of pausing dramatically after although. Remember that although is not a synonym for the word however , so you cannot solve the problem in the sentence by putting a period after Europe. A clause beginning with although cannot stand alone as a sentence. This is a strange new error. Finally, two hints: If your word-processing program underlines something and suggests changes, be careful.

When it comes to grammar and syntax, your computer is a moron. Not only does it fail to recognize some gross errors, it also falsely identifies some correct passages as errors. Do not cede control of your writing decisions to your computer. Make the suggested changes only if you are positive that they are correct. If you are having trouble with your writing, try simplifying. Write short sentences and read them aloud to test for clarity. Start with the subject and follow it quickly with an active verb.

Limit the number of relative clauses, participial phrases, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases. You will win no prizes for eloquence, but at least you will be clear. Add complexity only when you have learned to handle it. Avoid the common solecism of using feel as a synonym for think, believe, say, state, assert, contend, argue, conclude, or write. Concentrate on what your historical actors said and did; leave their feelings to speculative chapters of their biographies.

As for your own feelings, keep them out of your papers. If you believe that Lincoln should have acted earlier, then explain, giving cogent historical reasons. This is a clumsy, unnecessary construction. This phrase is filler. Get rid of it. Attend carefully to the placement of this limiting word. Note, for example, these three sentences:. The first limits the action to interring as opposed to, say, killing ; the second limits the group interred i.

More than likely, you have not earned these words and are implying that you have said more than you actually have. Use them sparingly, only when you are concluding a substantial argument with a significant conclusion. Instead is an adverb, not a conjunction. Note also that the two clauses are now parallel—both contain transitive verbs. These are redundant. If two people share or agree , they are both involved by definition.

This word means one of a kind. It is an absolute. Something cannot be very unique, more unique, or somewhat unique. To avoid confusion in historical prose, you should stick with the original meaning of incredible : not believable. You probably mean that he gave great speeches. You probably mean that the Japanese attack was unwise or reckless. English is rich with adjectives.

Finding the best one forces you to think about what you really mean. As a synonym for subject matter, bone of contention, reservation, or almost anything else vaguely associated with what you are discussing, the word issue has lost its meaning through overuse. Beware of the word literally. Literally means actually, factually, exactly, directly, without metaphor. The swamping was figurative, strictly a figure of speech.

The adverb literally may also cause you trouble by falsely generalizing the coverage of your verb. Like issue , involve tells the reader too little. Delete it and discuss specifically what Erasmus said or did. Just get directly to the point.

Most good writers frown on the use of this word as a verb. Impacted suggests painfully blocked wisdom teeth or feces. Had an impact is better than impacted , but is still awkward because impact implies a collision. Here is another beloved but vapid word. If you believe quite reasonably that the Reformation had many causes, then start evaluating them.

Overuse has drained the meaning from meaningful. The adjective interesting is vague, overused, and does not earn its keep. Delete it and explain and analyze his perspective. Your professor will gag on this one. Events take place or happen by definition, so the relative clause is redundant. Furthermore, most good writers do not accept transpire as a synonym for happen. Again, follow the old rule of thumb: Get right to the point, say what happened, and explain its significance.

This phrase is awkward and redundant. Replace it with the reason is, or better still, simply delete it and get right to your reason. The phrase is for all intents and purposes , and few good writers use it in formal prose anyway. Use center on or center in. Recently, many people have started to use this phrase to mean raises, invites, or brings up the question. Understanding this fallacy is central to your education. The formal Latin term, petitio principii, is too fancy to catch on, so you need to preserve the simple English phrase.

If something raises a question, just say so. Everything in the past or relating to the past is historical. Resist the media-driven hype that elevates the ordinary to the historic. The Norman invasion of England in was indeed historic. Historically , historians have gathered annually for a historical convention; so far, none of the conventions has been historic.

Effect as a verb means to bring about or cause to exist effect change. While stresses simultaneity. This is the classic bonehead error. As an adjective, everyday one word means routine. If you wish to say that something happened on every successive day, then you need two words, the adjective every and the noun day. For Kant, exercise and thinking were everyday activities. To allude means to refer to indirectly or to hint at. The word you probably want in historical prose is refer , which means to mention or call direct attention to.

Novel is not a synonym for book. A novel is a long work of fiction in prose. A historical monograph is not a novel —unless the historian is making everything up. This is an appalling new error. If you are making a comparison, you use the conjunction than.

The past tense of the verb to lead is led not lead. The opposite of win is lose , not loose. However may not substitute for the coordinating conjunction but. Your religion, ideology, or worldview all have tenets —propositions you hold or believe in.

Tenants rent from landlords. The second sentence says that some colonists did not want to break with Britain and is clearly true, though you should go on to be more precise. Historians talk a lot about centuries, so you need to know when to hyphenate them. Follow the standard rule: If you combine two words to form a compound adjective, use a hyphen, unless the first word ends in ly.

The same rule for hyphenating applies to middle-class and middle class —a group that historians like to talk about. Bourgeois is usually an adjective, meaning characteristic of the middle class and its values or habits. Occasionally, bourgeois is a noun, meaning a single member of the middle class. Bourgeoisie is a noun, meaning the middle class collectively. Your professor may ask you to analyze a primary document.

Here are some questions you might ask of your document. You will note a common theme—read critically with sensitivity to the context. This list is not a suggested outline for a paper; the wording of the assignment and the nature of the document itself should determine your organization and which of the questions are most relevant.

Of course, you can ask these same questions of any document you encounter in your research. Your professor may ask you to write a book review, probably of a scholarly historical monograph. Here are some questions you might ask of the book.

Remember that a good review is critical, but critical does not necessarily mean negative. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, nor is it a suggested outline. Your writing tutor sneaks another look at her watch as she reminds you for the third time to clarify your thesis. Your main historical actors are this, it, they, the people, and society, and they are all involved with factors, aspects, impacts, and issues.

Students will learn to use interdisciplinary methods from the humanities and social sciences to probe the sources of the past for answers to present questions. They will learn to draw comparisons and connections among diverse societies across a range of historical eras. They will further learn to convey their findings through writing that is clearly structured, precise, and persuasive.

Writing Center. Writing Resources. Writing a Good History Paper. Additional Navigation About Us. Tutoring Services Tutors. Seven Sins of Writing Passive Voice. Incorrect Punctuation of Two Independent Clauses. Misuse of the Apostrophe. Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers. Pronoun Problems.

The Dreaded Pet Peeves. Faculty Resources. State a clear thesis. Be sure to analyze. See also: Analyzing a Historical Document Be precise. Watch the chronology. Cite sources carefully. Use primary sources. See also: Analyzing a Historical Document Use scholarly secondary sources. See also: Writing a Book Review Avoid abusing your sources. Quote sparingly Avoid quoting a secondary source and then simply rewording or summarizing the quotation, either above or below the quotation.

Know your audience Unless instructed otherwise, you should assume that your audience consists of educated, intelligent, nonspecialists. Misuse of the passive voice. Abuse of the verb to be. Inappropriate use of first person. Tense inconsistency. Ill-fitted quotation. Free-floating quotation.

Clumsy transition. Unnecessary relative clause. Distancing or demeaning quotation marks. Remarks on Grammar and Syntax Awkward. Unclear antecedent. It was a symbolic act. Faulty parallelism. Run-on sentence. Sentence fragment. Confusion of restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses. Consider these two versions of the same sentence: 1. Confusion about the objects of prepositions. Misuse of the comparative.

Comma between subject and verb. The fact that. In terms of. Thus and therefore. Misuse of instead. Essentially and basically. Both share or both agree. The events that transpired. The reason is because. For all intensive purposes. Take for granite. This is an illiteracy. You mean should have or could have. Center around. Begs the question. A queen reigns during her reign. You rein in a horse with reins.

You do know the difference. Pay attention. What exactly is the document e. Are you dealing with the original or with a copy? If it is a copy, how remote is it from the original e. How might deviations from the original affect your interpretation? What is the date of the document? Is there any reason to believe that the document is not genuine or not exactly what it appears to be? Who is the author, and what stake does the author have in the matters discussed?

If the document is unsigned, what can you infer about the author or authors? What sort of biases or blind spots might the author have? For example, is an educated bureaucrat writing with third-hand knowledge of rural hunger riots? Where, why, and under what circumstances did the author write the document? How might the circumstances e. Has the document been published?

If so, did the author intend it to be published? If the document was not published, how has it been preserved? In a public archive? In a private collection? Can you learn anything from the way it has been preserved? For example, has it been treated as important or as a minor scrap of paper?

Does the document have a boilerplate format or style, suggesting that it is a routine sample of a standardized genre, or does it appear out of the ordinary, even unique? Who is the intended audience for the document? What exactly does the document say? Does it imply something different? In what ways are you, the historian, reading the document differently than its intended audience would have read it assuming that future historians were not the intended audience?

What does the document leave out that you might have expected it to discuss? What does the document assume that the reader already knows about the subject e. What additional information might help you better interpret the document? Do you know or are you able to infer the effects or influences, if any, of the document? What does the document tell you about the period you are studying? If your document is part of an edited collection, why do you suppose the editor chose it?

How might the editing have changed the way you perceive the document? For example, have parts been omitted? Has it been translated? If so, when, by whom, and in what style? Has the editor placed the document in a suggestive context among other documents, or in some other way led you to a particular interpretation?

Writing a Book Review Your professor may ask you to write a book review, probably of a scholarly historical monograph. Who is the author, and what are his or her qualifications? Has the author written other books on the subject? When was the book written, and how does it fit into the scholarly debate on the subject? Getting this right is the foundation of your review.

For example, does the author rely strictly on narrative and anecdotes, or is the book analytical in some way? What kinds of evidence does the author use? For example, what is the balance of primary and secondary sources? Has the author done archival work? Is the source base substantial, or does it look thin? Is the author up-to-date in the scholarly literature? How skillfully and imaginatively has the author used the evidence? Does the author actually use all of the material in the bibliography, or is some of it there for display?

What sorts of explicit or implicit ideological or methodological assumptions does the author bring to the study? For example, does he or she profess bland objectivity? A Whig view of history? Is the argument new, or is it old wine in new bottles? Is the argument important, with wide-ranging implications, or is it narrow and trivial?

Is the book well organized and skillfully written? What is your overall critical assessment of the book? What is the general significance, if any, of the book? Make sure that you are judging the book that the author actually wrote, not complaining that the author should have written a different book. Writing a Term Paper or Senior Thesis Here are some tips for those long, intimidating term papers or senior theses: Start early.

You should be delving into the sources during the second week. Work closely with your professor to assure that your topic is neither too broad nor too narrow. Set up a schedule with your professor and check his or her policy about reading rough drafts or parts of rough drafts.

How can you possibly get this done with only two weeks left in the semester? She will help you to find and use the appropriate catalogs and indexes. Use your imagination in compiling a bibliography. Think of all of the possible key words and subjects that may lead you to material.

If you find something really good, check the subjects under which it is cataloged. Much of what you need will not be in our library, so get to know the friendly folks in the Interlibrary Loan department. Start early. Use as many primary sources as you can.

WRITE A CONSTITUTION BY FAREED ZAKARIA

Their food sources consisted of corn, potatoes, pumpkin, yams, and lima beans as they were native plants that could be farmed for human consumption. More than half of the modern American farming crops are endemic to North America. The s was a decade characterized by the civil rights movement and its fight for inclusion within society.

As the new decade started, segregation under the legal system was still considered constitutional. In , segregation was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court based on their ruling on the Brown v. Board of Education case. The […].

The hairstyle […]. The fight for social injustices we have in our society has been a long battle. One of the longest battles against the injustices in our society is the battle for civil rights. In the early, to mids there was an uprise from African-Americans. Many people rose to lead their people in the fight. Leaders such […]. Ask yourself is Andrew Jackson good or bad? Did he do the right things?

Is Andrew Jackson A hero or a villain? He was the president but not a very good one in my opinion. Also i think […]. The years between and were very exciting for the United States. There were many things going on at this time. The United States was expanding and exploring the unknown western lands.

This was the time of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition. The Louisiana Purchase was the United States had […]. Introduction The Lewis and Clark Expedition, probably the most well known, most important expedition to North America. It was key to the westward expansion of the United States. Jefferson bought the Louisiana territory in , thank you France. He wanted to know what was there, he wanted to know what he bought.

So his friend […]. After a week of leaving my family behind, I have often thought about returning. I would have never thought that I would convince myself to leave them and the state of Pennsylvania to volunteer for this cause… But I care about this country too much to not pass up this opportunity to contribute.

I would […]. The Declaration of Independence has been justly celebrated since it was written and distributed on July 4, Yet one who reads it today cannot fail to be struck by a series of inconsistencies and even departures from morality. This paper will […]. Imagine fighting during the Civil War for your freedom, only to still be treated like a slave nearly years later. African Americans during the s and s were still being treated differently from white Americans years later.

They were angry about this and decided it was time to make a change. They began the […]. Significance of Lewis and Clark Lake to the American History Working Thesis:Lewis and Clark Lake holds numerous types of fish that display different characteristics and therefore the lake forms a vital part of the American History. What was the Great Depression? The Declaration of Independence and Common-Sense Our time being the United States of American without British rule has been two hundred, forty-two years, two months and nine day to be exact.

Racism and Immigration: then and Now It has come to my attention as of recent how devastating racism is today. The Immensity of Political Activity Human rights are rights to which all human beings are entitled, regardless of ethnicity, religion, skin color, or sex. The Importance of Black History Month Black History Month is a time in which we celebrate the achievements of African-Americans leaders and acknowledge the prominent role of blacks in U.

American Civil Rights Movement The s was a decade characterized by the civil rights movement and its fight for inclusion within society. Rosa Parks and Fight for Social Injustices The fight for social injustices we have in our society has been a long battle.

The first fuses two independent clauses with neither a comma nor a coordinating conjunction; the second uses a comma but omits the coordinating conjunction; and the third also omits the coordinating conjunction however is not a coordinating conjunction. To solve the problem, separate the two clauses with a comma and the coordinating conjunction but. You could also divide the clauses with a semicolon or make separate sentences.

Remember that there are only seven coordinating conjunctions and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet. Write in sentences. A sentence has to have a subject and a predicate. If you string together a lot of words, you may lose control of the syntax and end up with a sentence fragment. Note that the following is not a sentence:. Here you have a long compound introductory clause followed by no subject and no verb, and thus you have a fragment.

You may have noticed exceptions to the no-fragments rule. Skilful writers do sometimes intentionally use a fragment to achieve a certain effect. Leave the rule-breaking to the experts. The first sentence has a nonrestrictive relative clause; the dates are included almost as parenthetical information.

But something seems amiss with the second sentence. It has a restrictive relative clause that limits the subject World War I to the World War I fought between and , thus implying that there were other wars called World War I, and that we need to distinguish among them.

Both sentences are grammatically correct, but the writer of the second sentence appears foolish. Note carefully the distinction between that for use in restrictive clauses, with no comma and which for use in nonrestrictive clauses, with a comma. Remember—history is about what people do, so you need to be vigilant about agency.

Surely, the writer meant to say that, in his analysis of imperialism, Fanon distinguishes between two kinds of hierarchy. A comma after suggests fixes the immediate problem. Now look at the revised sentence. It still needs work. Better diction and syntax would sharpen it. Fanon does not suggest with connotations of both hinting and advocating ; he states outright.

But between the elements A and B, the writer inserts Fanon a proper noun , suggests a verb , imperialists a noun , and establish a verb. Notice that errors and infelicities have a way of clustering. If you find one problem in a sentence, look for others. Discipline your prepositional phrases; make sure you know where they end. Yet the writer intends only the first to be the object of the preposition. Hitler is accusing the Jews of engaging , but not of stating ; he is the one doing the stating.

There are two common problems here. More upset than who? The other problem, which is more common and takes many forms, is the unintended and sometimes comical comparison of unlike elements. Often the trouble starts with a possessive:. You mean to compare appetites, but you've forgotten about your possessive, so you absurdly compare an appetite to a man.

Get control of your apostrophes. Do not use the apostrophe to form plurals. This is a new error, probably a carryover from the common conversational habit of pausing dramatically after although. Remember that although is not a synonym for the word however , so you cannot solve the problem in the sentence by putting a period after Europe. A clause beginning with although cannot stand alone as a sentence.

This is a strange new error. Finally, two hints: If your word-processing program underlines something and suggests changes, be careful. When it comes to grammar and syntax, your computer is a moron. Not only does it fail to recognize some gross errors, it also falsely identifies some correct passages as errors.

Do not cede control of your writing decisions to your computer. Make the suggested changes only if you are positive that they are correct. If you are having trouble with your writing, try simplifying. Write short sentences and read them aloud to test for clarity. Start with the subject and follow it quickly with an active verb. Limit the number of relative clauses, participial phrases, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases. You will win no prizes for eloquence, but at least you will be clear.

Add complexity only when you have learned to handle it. Avoid the common solecism of using feel as a synonym for think, believe, say, state, assert, contend, argue, conclude, or write. Concentrate on what your historical actors said and did; leave their feelings to speculative chapters of their biographies. As for your own feelings, keep them out of your papers. If you believe that Lincoln should have acted earlier, then explain, giving cogent historical reasons.

This is a clumsy, unnecessary construction. This phrase is filler. Get rid of it. Attend carefully to the placement of this limiting word. Note, for example, these three sentences:. The first limits the action to interring as opposed to, say, killing ; the second limits the group interred i.

More than likely, you have not earned these words and are implying that you have said more than you actually have. Use them sparingly, only when you are concluding a substantial argument with a significant conclusion. Instead is an adverb, not a conjunction. Note also that the two clauses are now parallel—both contain transitive verbs. These are redundant. If two people share or agree , they are both involved by definition. This word means one of a kind. It is an absolute.

Something cannot be very unique, more unique, or somewhat unique. To avoid confusion in historical prose, you should stick with the original meaning of incredible : not believable. You probably mean that he gave great speeches. You probably mean that the Japanese attack was unwise or reckless. English is rich with adjectives. Finding the best one forces you to think about what you really mean. As a synonym for subject matter, bone of contention, reservation, or almost anything else vaguely associated with what you are discussing, the word issue has lost its meaning through overuse.

Beware of the word literally. Literally means actually, factually, exactly, directly, without metaphor. The swamping was figurative, strictly a figure of speech. The adverb literally may also cause you trouble by falsely generalizing the coverage of your verb. Like issue , involve tells the reader too little. Delete it and discuss specifically what Erasmus said or did. Just get directly to the point. Most good writers frown on the use of this word as a verb. Impacted suggests painfully blocked wisdom teeth or feces.

Had an impact is better than impacted , but is still awkward because impact implies a collision. Here is another beloved but vapid word. If you believe quite reasonably that the Reformation had many causes, then start evaluating them. Overuse has drained the meaning from meaningful. The adjective interesting is vague, overused, and does not earn its keep.

Delete it and explain and analyze his perspective. Your professor will gag on this one. Events take place or happen by definition, so the relative clause is redundant. Furthermore, most good writers do not accept transpire as a synonym for happen.

Again, follow the old rule of thumb: Get right to the point, say what happened, and explain its significance. This phrase is awkward and redundant. Replace it with the reason is, or better still, simply delete it and get right to your reason.

The phrase is for all intents and purposes , and few good writers use it in formal prose anyway. Use center on or center in. Recently, many people have started to use this phrase to mean raises, invites, or brings up the question. Understanding this fallacy is central to your education. The formal Latin term, petitio principii, is too fancy to catch on, so you need to preserve the simple English phrase. If something raises a question, just say so.

Everything in the past or relating to the past is historical. Resist the media-driven hype that elevates the ordinary to the historic. The Norman invasion of England in was indeed historic. Historically , historians have gathered annually for a historical convention; so far, none of the conventions has been historic.

Effect as a verb means to bring about or cause to exist effect change. While stresses simultaneity. This is the classic bonehead error. As an adjective, everyday one word means routine. If you wish to say that something happened on every successive day, then you need two words, the adjective every and the noun day.

For Kant, exercise and thinking were everyday activities. To allude means to refer to indirectly or to hint at. The word you probably want in historical prose is refer , which means to mention or call direct attention to. Novel is not a synonym for book. A novel is a long work of fiction in prose. A historical monograph is not a novel —unless the historian is making everything up.

This is an appalling new error. If you are making a comparison, you use the conjunction than. The past tense of the verb to lead is led not lead. The opposite of win is lose , not loose. However may not substitute for the coordinating conjunction but.

Your religion, ideology, or worldview all have tenets —propositions you hold or believe in. Tenants rent from landlords. The second sentence says that some colonists did not want to break with Britain and is clearly true, though you should go on to be more precise. Historians talk a lot about centuries, so you need to know when to hyphenate them. Follow the standard rule: If you combine two words to form a compound adjective, use a hyphen, unless the first word ends in ly.

The same rule for hyphenating applies to middle-class and middle class —a group that historians like to talk about. Bourgeois is usually an adjective, meaning characteristic of the middle class and its values or habits. Occasionally, bourgeois is a noun, meaning a single member of the middle class. Bourgeoisie is a noun, meaning the middle class collectively.

Your professor may ask you to analyze a primary document. Here are some questions you might ask of your document. You will note a common theme—read critically with sensitivity to the context. This list is not a suggested outline for a paper; the wording of the assignment and the nature of the document itself should determine your organization and which of the questions are most relevant. Of course, you can ask these same questions of any document you encounter in your research.

Your professor may ask you to write a book review, probably of a scholarly historical monograph. Here are some questions you might ask of the book. Remember that a good review is critical, but critical does not necessarily mean negative.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive, nor is it a suggested outline. Your writing tutor sneaks another look at her watch as she reminds you for the third time to clarify your thesis. Your main historical actors are this, it, they, the people, and society, and they are all involved with factors, aspects, impacts, and issues.

Students will learn to use interdisciplinary methods from the humanities and social sciences to probe the sources of the past for answers to present questions. They will learn to draw comparisons and connections among diverse societies across a range of historical eras.

They will further learn to convey their findings through writing that is clearly structured, precise, and persuasive. Writing Center. Writing Resources. Writing a Good History Paper. Additional Navigation About Us. Tutoring Services Tutors. Seven Sins of Writing Passive Voice. Incorrect Punctuation of Two Independent Clauses. Misuse of the Apostrophe. Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers. Pronoun Problems. The Dreaded Pet Peeves. Faculty Resources. State a clear thesis. Be sure to analyze.

See also: Analyzing a Historical Document Be precise. Watch the chronology. Cite sources carefully. Use primary sources. See also: Analyzing a Historical Document Use scholarly secondary sources. See also: Writing a Book Review Avoid abusing your sources.

Quote sparingly Avoid quoting a secondary source and then simply rewording or summarizing the quotation, either above or below the quotation. Know your audience Unless instructed otherwise, you should assume that your audience consists of educated, intelligent, nonspecialists. Misuse of the passive voice. Abuse of the verb to be.

Inappropriate use of first person. Tense inconsistency. Ill-fitted quotation. Free-floating quotation. Clumsy transition. Unnecessary relative clause. Distancing or demeaning quotation marks. Remarks on Grammar and Syntax Awkward. Unclear antecedent. It was a symbolic act. Faulty parallelism. Run-on sentence. Sentence fragment. Confusion of restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses.

Consider these two versions of the same sentence: 1. Confusion about the objects of prepositions. Misuse of the comparative. Comma between subject and verb. The fact that. In terms of. Thus and therefore. Misuse of instead. Essentially and basically. Both share or both agree. The events that transpired. The reason is because. For all intensive purposes. Take for granite. This is an illiteracy.

You mean should have or could have. Center around. Begs the question. A queen reigns during her reign. You rein in a horse with reins. You do know the difference. Pay attention. What exactly is the document e. Are you dealing with the original or with a copy? If it is a copy, how remote is it from the original e. How might deviations from the original affect your interpretation? What is the date of the document? Is there any reason to believe that the document is not genuine or not exactly what it appears to be?

Who is the author, and what stake does the author have in the matters discussed? If the document is unsigned, what can you infer about the author or authors? What sort of biases or blind spots might the author have? For example, is an educated bureaucrat writing with third-hand knowledge of rural hunger riots? Where, why, and under what circumstances did the author write the document?

How might the circumstances e. Has the document been published? If so, did the author intend it to be published? If the document was not published, how has it been preserved? In a public archive? In a private collection? Can you learn anything from the way it has been preserved?

For example, has it been treated as important or as a minor scrap of paper? Does the document have a boilerplate format or style, suggesting that it is a routine sample of a standardized genre, or does it appear out of the ordinary, even unique?

Who is the intended audience for the document? What exactly does the document say? Does it imply something different? In what ways are you, the historian, reading the document differently than its intended audience would have read it assuming that future historians were not the intended audience? What does the document leave out that you might have expected it to discuss?

What does the document assume that the reader already knows about the subject e. What additional information might help you better interpret the document? Do you know or are you able to infer the effects or influences, if any, of the document? What does the document tell you about the period you are studying? If your document is part of an edited collection, why do you suppose the editor chose it?

How might the editing have changed the way you perceive the document? For example, have parts been omitted? Has it been translated? If so, when, by whom, and in what style? Has the editor placed the document in a suggestive context among other documents, or in some other way led you to a particular interpretation? Writing a Book Review Your professor may ask you to write a book review, probably of a scholarly historical monograph.

Who is the author, and what are his or her qualifications? Has the author written other books on the subject? When was the book written, and how does it fit into the scholarly debate on the subject? Getting this right is the foundation of your review. For example, does the author rely strictly on narrative and anecdotes, or is the book analytical in some way?

What kinds of evidence does the author use? For example, what is the balance of primary and secondary sources? Has the author done archival work? Is the source base substantial, or does it look thin? Is the author up-to-date in the scholarly literature?

How skillfully and imaginatively has the author used the evidence? Does the author actually use all of the material in the bibliography, or is some of it there for display? What sorts of explicit or implicit ideological or methodological assumptions does the author bring to the study? For example, does he or she profess bland objectivity?

A Whig view of history? Is the argument new, or is it old wine in new bottles? Is the argument important, with wide-ranging implications, or is it narrow and trivial? Is the book well organized and skillfully written? What is your overall critical assessment of the book? What is the general significance, if any, of the book? Make sure that you are judging the book that the author actually wrote, not complaining that the author should have written a different book.

Writing a Term Paper or Senior Thesis Here are some tips for those long, intimidating term papers or senior theses: Start early. You should be delving into the sources during the second week. Work closely with your professor to assure that your topic is neither too broad nor too narrow.

Set up a schedule with your professor and check his or her policy about reading rough drafts or parts of rough drafts. How can you possibly get this done with only two weeks left in the semester? She will help you to find and use the appropriate catalogs and indexes. Use your imagination in compiling a bibliography. Think of all of the possible key words and subjects that may lead you to material. If you find something really good, check the subjects under which it is cataloged.

Much of what you need will not be in our library, so get to know the friendly folks in the Interlibrary Loan department. Start early. Use as many primary sources as you can. Jot down your ideas as they come to you. You may not remember them later. Take careful notes on your reading.

Label your notes completely and precisely. Distinguish meticulously and systematically between what you are directly quoting and what you are summarizing in your own words. Unintended plagiarism is still plagiarism. Write down not just the page of the quotation or idea, but also the whole run of pages where the matter is discussed. Reread all of your notes periodically to make sure that you still understand them and are compiling what you will need to write your paper.

Err on the side of writing down more than you think you will need. Just accept that there is something anal about good note-taking. If you take notes directly into your computer, they will be easy to index and pull up, but there are a couple of downsides. You will not be able to see all of them simultaneously, as you can note cards laid out on a big table. What you gain in ease of access may come at the price of losing the big picture.

Also, if your notes are in your computer, you may be tempted to save time and thought by pasting many of them directly into your paper. Note cards encourage you to rethink and to rework your ideas into a unified whole. Make sure that your paper has a thesis. See the entry State a clear thesis. Check and recheck your facts. Footnote properly. See the entry Cite sources carefully. Save plenty of time to proofread.

You just pasted in another words of quotations. Final Advice You guessed it — start early. Writing Center Kirner-Johnson Close Search Hamilton.

Drawn from a survey of the History Department

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