History Assignments                                                                                          Spring 2008

Term Paper                                                                                                            Instructor: R. Brennan



                The term paper must be at least ten (10) typed pages long [feel free to go beyond that length].  These pages will consist of a minimum of nine (9) pages of information, statistics, biographical background, etc.  The tenth and final page will be your analysis/reaction to the person/subject you chose for your paper. 



                The subject can be any historical person or pivotal event from the time period of the class.  Note: for US History classes, the subject person/event must be from US History.  For the Western Civilization sections, no US person/event is acceptable.  You must obtain approval from the instructor before beginning research.  If you turn in a paper on an unacceptable topic, you will receive no credit for the assignment. 


Works Cited:

                Paper must include at least eight (8) bibliographical sources [excluding encyclopedias].  One of the sources must be a primary source.   


a primary source is:

Firsthand information [a source contemporary to the event], such as an eyewitness account of events; a diary; a speech, or other historical document; a work of literature or art [or musical composition]; a report of a survey or experiment; and one’s own interview, observation or correspondence.


a secondary source is:

A source reporting or analyzing information in other sources.  A secondary source is an interpretation of history through the use of primary and/or secondary sources.  Examples include books and journal articles.


Documentation and Plagiarism:

As evidenced by past semesters, it has become necessary to include a definition of documentation for research papers.  Any information that is not general information must be documented.   Plagiarism is using as your own the words or ideas of another, whether written or oral.  When you use material from a source, you must quote or paraphrase accurately and properly cite the information.  Failure to do so is considered plagiarism.  Examples of plagiarism include word-for-word copying without correctly indicating that you are quoting, inaccurate quoting and paraphrasing, and incomplete or missing documentation.  Purchasing a paper or copying someone else’s work and submitting it as your own are also plagiarism.  Any misrepresentation of the source in your writing or speaking would constitute a form of plagiarism.

If you are in any doubt, document the information.  Failure to give proper credit to the source from which you obtained your information is considered academic dishonesty and will be treated as such.  Whether intentional or unintentional, plagiarism is not acceptable and will result in the student being assigned a grade of zero for the assignment.  If there is still any uncertainty, ask at the Learning Center in the Library, any English teacher or the instructor for this course. 


Due Date:

                The due date for the term paper is Friday March 14th 4:00 PM.  The papers must be handed in by 4:00 PM.  If the paper is not in my hand when I leave for the day you will receive a “0” for the assignment.  There are no exceptions.  You have two months to complete the assignment – do not wait until the last minute! 


Grammar and Spelling:

                I will count off one point for each grammatical/spelling mistake.  Eight mistakes counts off eight points [one letter grade].  Proofread carefully.




Font/Type Size:

                The only acceptable font size is 12.  The only acceptable font is Times New Roman.  If you do not have this style on your computer, you must see me before you turn in your paper.  If you turn in your paper using a different font, I will retype the paper in the correct font and any short fall in the length of the paper will be counted off.  1.25” side margins are the maximum, 1” top and bottom margins are the maximum.  The paper is to be double-spaced.


Completed Task:

                If papers are not stapled together when they are turned in, this will result in the loss of 5 points.  This is college; you should be able to turn in professional work at this point.  All work should include a cover page with your name, the class (day and time that the class meets) and the instructor’s name.  Do not include this information on the first page of text as it will be counted off.  Do not turn in paper with any type of plastic, cardboard, file or any other sort of material as a cover.  I will only end up throwing those covers away. 



                If you have any questions regarding this paper, feel free to ask them either before or after class, or if that is not possible, you can reach me at my office phone number 362-7235.  If there is anything you do not understand it is your responsibility to ask.  Remember, it is too late to ask questions after the paper is turned in.


Critique Sheet

- lack of title page – 5

- lacks minimum 9 pages of text – 15 per page short (pro-rated each page)

- lacks analysis page – 25 (pro-rated)

- lacks citations within the body of the text – 100

- plagiarism – you will receive a ‘0’ for the assignment and will fail the course

- lacks works cited page – 15

- lacks primary source – 15

- lacks requisite 8 bibliographic sources – 5 per source short

- incorrect margins – 15 for each ½ inch greater than 1.25”

- incorrect font – 15 for each font size larger than 12

- paper turned in late – you will receive a ‘0’ for the assignment

- each spelling/grammatical mistake – 1 per mistake

- content problems – (variable)