HIST 1493, Spring 2017
One of the goals of this course is to teach you how to assess historical documents critically and to write a sophisticated research paper. On explorehistory.ou.edu, we provide you with a wealth of information, including on-line tutorials, to help you become a proficient researcher and writer. I cannot emphasize enough how useful you will find what you learn in this class for all your future paper assignments at OU. Good writing is the most fungible of all the skills you will learn at OU. No matter what field of study you choose, no matter what career you ultimately select, the ability to write well will serve you extraordinarily well.
Your second paper is roughly double the length of your first, i.e. about 2000 words. It is due on December 1 or 2, depending on the day of your section. This paper is worth 200 points. You are required to submit an electronic copy. Some discussion leaders may want both a hard copy and an electronic copy; some may want only an electronic copy. (All papers will be examined by a plagiarism detection system.) We have provided you with a list of carefully vetted websites that you may use in order to find primary documents for your research: http://explorehistory.ou.edu/1493-primary-source-collections/. I highly recommend that you use this site as your guide to helping you choose a topic. You will not be required to do so, but you will have the option of submitting a revised version of the final paper. However, to do so, you must also submit a detailed explanation of the nature of your revisions.
On November 10 or November 11, you will submit an annotated bibliography to your Graduate Assistant. Your graduate assistant will let you know whether he or she wants a hard copy or an electronic copy of this bibliography. An annotated bibliography is a list of sources you will use in the second essay accompanied by a commentary on why each source is relevant to your paper. Your graduate assistant will help you with the format of this assignment but, in general, you will be expected to provide a two to three sentence summary for each source.
As noted above, the paper should be roughly 2000 words in length. It should be well-written, closely argued, and tightly organized. It should avoid jargon, it should be lucid, and it should be free of grammatical and typographical errors. So that the papers will follow some kind of consistent format, please type and double space your paper and use a 12 point font, preferably “Times New Roman.” Allow one inch margins all around, except on the first page which should have your name in the upper right hand corner, then drop two inches to the title of your essay, then double space to the beginning of the text. Indent all paragraphs five spaces, but do not add extra spaces between paragraphs. You do not need a title page replete with fancy graphics nor a dedication page to your parents. Number the pages of your essay. You will use what is called the Turabian style of endnotes—and you will use endnotes, not footnotes—with the notes numbered consecutively in Arabic (not Roman) numerals.
I also encourage you to make use of the Writing Center in Wagner Hall. As you begin drafting your research paper, you will want to seek feedback from many different readers. The writing consultants at the Writing Center are able to talk with you about your writing at any stage in the process. You can make an appointment (online or by phone), and you can drop in whenever the Center is open. For more information, contact www.ou.edu/writingcenter.
Late penalties for first and final draft of paper: I believe in treating students fairly; thus, grading policies must penalize those students who turn in late work. My policy is simple. All paper assignments are due at the beginning of class, not midway through the class or at its end. If the paper is not turned in at the beginning of class, we will assess a one grade penalty. If it is not turned in by 5:00 p.m. that afternoon, another one grade penalty will be assessed. If it is not turned in by 5:00 p.m. the next day, off goes another grade. And if it is not turned in by 5:00 p.m. the next afternoon, still another grade gets whacked. In short, turn your papers in on time or suffer dire consequences.