by Zuoyue Wang based on The Chicago Manual of Style
(note the differences between footnotes and bibliography)
1Anthony Brundage, Going to the Sources: A Guide to Historical
Research and Writing (Wheeling, IL: Harlan Davidson, 1997), 56. [If the
city of publication is well-known, such as
2Brundage, Going to the Sources, 58. [Use last name and abbreviated title for subsequent citations of the same source; this rule applies to articles too.]
Articles in a scholarly journal:
Zuoyue Wang, “Responding to Silent Spring: Scientists, Popular Science Communication, and Environmental Policy in the Kennedy Years,” Science Communication 19, no. 4 (December 1997): 142.
Articles in a scholarly journal accessed from an online database:
and Zuoyue Wang, “Between the Devil and the
Articles in an edited book:
William Kirby, “Engineering
Oral history interview:
Interview with Chang-lin Tien by Zuoyue Wang, March 19, 1999, Berkeley, CA.
Newspaper and popular magazine articles or letters to the editor:
Ralph Vartabedian, “U.S. Funnels Billions to Science to Defend Against Terrorism,” Los Angeles Times, March 7, 2004, A1.
Robert Parker, “Clooney’s Juvenilia,” letter to the editor, The Record (
Anon. to J. Edgar Hoover on Albert Einstein, April 21, 1953, available from FBI Freedom of Information Act Reading Room, “Albert Einstein,” Part 7, http://foia.fbi.gov/einstein/einstein7a.pdf, accessed in October 2003.
Brundage, Anthony. Going to the Sources: A Guide
to Historical Research and Writing.
Vartabedian, Ralph. “
Wang, Zuoyue. “Responding to Silent Spring: Scientists, Popular Science Communication, and Environmental Policy in the Kennedy Years.” Science Communication 19, no. 4 (December 1997): 141-163. [Notice that there is a period after the article title and that here you give the inclusive page numbers of the article.]
Checklist of Tips on Writing History Papers
1. Place a period or comma before, not after, the closing quotation mark; but keep footnote no. outside of the quote:
Wrong: “This is the wrong way to place the closing quotation mark and the period or comma” 1. Right: “This is the right way.”1
2. Page Numbers: Be sure to insert page numbers for every page of your paper, except for p. 1 if you use cover sheet.
3. Make sure that you distinguish between these words:
knew vs. new know vs. now there vs. their where vs. were
it’s (It’s a great paper.”) vs. its (“Its page numbers are missing.”)
to (“To write is to re-write.”) vs. too (“You can never have too many revisions.”)
4. Make sure that you italicize book or journal/magazine titles (Time); put “article titles” in quotes.
5. Use subsection headings (bold, centered) if the paper is five pages or longer.
6. History students generally should learn to use footnotes. But in some cases you can use in-text citations, for example, in exam essays. Use the following style for in-text citations in combination with a bibliography: “There is, quite simply, no such thing as a ‘definitive’ treatment of any topic.” (Brundage, 55)
7. Plagiarism: Avoid copying other authors’ words or ideas without citations; avoid long quotes.
8. In general, use quotes from your primary sources (such as letters and newspaper articles) but paraphrase ideas from secondary sources (scholarly books and articles) and provide corresponding citations. It’s often desirable to have a paragraph or more of historiographical discussion (what arguments other scholars have made on your topic) and how your own thesis statement agrees or disagrees with the existing views within the first page or two of the paper.
9. Follow a chronological order in your narrative; it’s easier for you to handle and for the reader to follow.
10. Try to write a topical sentence at the beginning of each paragraph and make sure that they flow well from one to the other.
11. For most history papers you should be able to use both primary sources (published or unpublished correspondence, government records, newspaper and magazine articles, oral history interviews) and secondary works by other scholars. The JStor database and www.historycooperative.org are perhaps the best sources to find scholarly articles on history topics. Avoid using only one source for long sections of your paper.
12. How to write essay exams: Be sure to address all aspects of the examination question. You can usually give a direct answer to the question in the first paragraph or two, then develop your argument in the body of the essay by providing examples, quotations, or other types of evidence for each period or for each group of people you cover. Be sure to relate all your specific pieces of evidence to your main argument as articulated in the first paragraph. You should then briefly summarize your argument in the last paragraph and can usually conclude the essay by offering some personal reflections on what you have learned and what’s been most striking to you in studying this topic.
13. If you have any questions regarding the writing process, discuss them with your instructor.