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Essays should be not more or less than 2,250 – 2,500 words in length (not including citations) (approximately 10-12 pages not including your title page and bibliography and appendix if any.) Standard (Arial or Times New Roman type fonts) 12 pt font, cursive or non-cursive, black, double spaced text, standard 2.5 cm margins, 11” X 8 ½”.  Pages must be paginated and submitted with a cover page containing no art or decorative elements. The cover page must have: your name, student number, course number, and essay title and the number of words (not including citations.) Essays not conforming to these standards will not be accepted and late penalties will be imposed until the essay is resubmitted in the required format.

Essays must be based on a minimum of seven academically acceptable sources (not including course texts but seminar readings are acceptable), and should not include, encyclopedias, textbooks, or general or popular histories, or unapproved websites as described above in Part 1.

Any relevant images, maps, graphs included in the essay are to be placed into an Appendix at the back.

The essay should have a single descriptive title or a creative title with a descriptive subtitle. For example: Generals in Blue: Lives of the Union Commanders or The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution, etc.   “History Essay” is not a title. Marks will be deducted for essays submitted without a title and/or title page.

Any essay not conforming to the above standards will be penalized.

Reference Citations (read carefully)

A history essay is like a courtroom argument—it is based on the presentation of proof conforming with the rules of evidence in an expositive argument. The way hearsay is not admissible in court, Wikipedia for example, is likewise not admissible as evidence in historical discourse. Just as court evidence is presented in a disciplined system: Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C, etc, in the written historical argument, the Chicago Style footnoted citation is used to lead and guide the reader through the evidence backing the persuasive discourse of the text above it.

Why Chicago Style Footnotes?  See: Yale University Why Are There Different Citation Styles

Many of the journal readings in this course will be using Chicago style citations and are appropriate models for the citation style required for your essay.

Essays must have a bibliography and have footnoted citations in the Chicago style (at the bottom of the page). Parenthetic in-text or inline style citations (APA for example) are not unacceptable for a history essay.   A well-researched essay integrating multiple sources into its argument contains on average four to six citations per page — approximately 40 to 60 citations per essay.  However, keep in mind this is only a ‘rule of thumb’ average, and the number of citations is variable essay to essay, depending upon the topic and density of sources and your essay text.

Citations are not included in the word count and when you use MS-Word word count in the Review tab to determine the word length you must indicate on the front cover, you have an option to exclude footnotes from that count.

As a general rule, references should be given for direct quotations, summaries or your own paraphrases of other people’s work or points of view, and for material that is factual, statistical, controversial, assertive or obscure.  You must cite more than just direct quotes.  WHEN IN DOUBT, IT IS BETTER TO PROVIDE A REFERENCE. You do not need to cite items of general knowledge like, for example: water is wet, fire is hot, the sun rises in the east or Elizabeth II is the Queen of England.

The footnote citation needs to reference the specific page or one or two pages at which the material you are citing appears – and not the entire page range of the source article.  The only time you cite the source article page range is in the initial first Chicago citation of a source, which will also in addition to its page range, include the specific page number within that page range, or on rare occasions when referring generally to an overall thesis or argument of a source article, rather than any specific evidence in it that you are drawing from.  Most of your citations will be specific page citations.

Essays submitted without specific page references in each citation will be automatically failed without any further opportunity to resubmit.   Chicago style footnotes are the only citation style accepted.

Basically, the first citation of a source should have the full bibliographical data in it, while in subsequent references to that source, just the name of the author and page number(s) will suffice. (If more than one source by the same author is used, then include the title as well.) This is an example of the basic required style for citations which are to inserted at the bottom of each page:
1 Jane Doe, The ABC’s of History (Toronto: Ontario Publishers, 1997), pp. 20-21
Jane Doe, p. 43

To create numerically sequential footnotes in current versions of MS WORD go to the “References” ribbon and select [Insert Footnote]; in earlier version of MS WORD, go to the “Insert” menu and then select [Footnote]. The citations should be formatted to “Arabic numerals (1,2,3, etc.)”

It is not necessary to use archaic citation terms like ibid or op cit. and they are even discouraged as word processing drag or cut-and-paste editing can easily displace the logic of these citation terms as you edit your work.

Titles of books are to be put into italics or underlined. Journal article titles are put in “quotation marks” while the journal titles are in italics or underlined.   See the below webpages for further details and formats as to how to cite journals, multiple authors, collections, etc. or search “Chicago style footnotes” on Google.]