HIST 300 – Major Paper
The final assignment for this class is to write and turn in a research paper on an historical topic of your choice. This paper MUST meet the requirements of the MSUM Writing Intensive requirements (consult The bibliography and primary documents assignments can help you develop your topic.
The paper must be at least 4000 words in length (about 16 pages). It must contain a bibliography of ALL the sources you use. It must contain proper citation of your sources with footnotes, endnotes or body notes (your choice, but you must indicate what style you are employing – APA, Chicago Manual, etc.). You will also following the Writing Intensive Outcomes noted below.
For this paper, you are required to
- Turn in an outline for your paper. This is due ______
- Turn in a complete first draft of the paper, due ______
- Turn in the final paper on the last day of class.
A checklist is attached to help you keep track of progress
Writing Intensive Outcomes from this process
- You will use a coherent writing process including invention, organization, drafting, revising, and editing to form an effective final written product. A good paper will be cohesively organized, making effective use of paragraphsand transitions, or other appropriate genre conventions, to carry your argument.
- You will read, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and integrate appropriately and ethically both information and ideas from diverse sources or points of view in your writing. A good paper will have a clearly stated thesis, be effectively supported by evidence from the readings and other research, and maintain a tone that is professional and informative.
- You will create logical, engaging, effective written products appropriate for specific audiences and purposes. A good paper will provide sufficient evidence to support the over-all thesis, and answer the questions.
- You will use correct grammar, spelling, and mechanics in writing in each of the essays. An essay that makes an effective argument but fails to use correct grammar and spelling will receive a lower grade.
NOTE THIS WELL: I WANT TWO COPIES OF EACH OF YOUR PAPERS (for the Writing Committee to use in evaluating this type of class) PUT YOUR NAME ON ONE COPY AND ONLY YOUR STUDENT ID # ON THE OTHER.
How your papers will be graded (proceeding from poor to excellent):
Very Poor (Grade of "F"): The paper does not meet the required standards – It is too short (at least 1600 words); the evidence in support of your points is poor (or there is no supporting evidence); the paper is very poorly written, is incoherent, and/or irrelevant. There are numerous incomplete sentences, word choice is very poor, and/or incorrect words are used.
Poor (Grade of "D"): The paper has only a marginal grasp of the material. It summarizes the most obvious aspects of the material, but provides almost no supporting evidence or examples. It shows little or no organization and contains major errors on grammar and sentence structure.
Average (Grade of "C"): The paper demonstrates basic understanding of the subject, but has some deficiencies. Its organization is acceptable, but it shows nothing more than a basic reiteration of the readings and material. It probably has grammatical errors. It likely also shows signs of being written in haste, with mistakes and sloppiness which should have been corrected with more effort.
Good (Grade of "B"): The organization is clear and coherent, although minor weaknesses may be present. It provides good, solid evidence in support of the main points. Any errors in punctuation, spelling and grammar are minor.
Excellent (Grade of "A"): The paper is very well organized, is clear in its arguments and main points, is grammatically correct, and progresses logically, with all the remarks relevant to the topic. The evidence given in support was carefully selected and aptly expressed. There is some original thought in the conclusion. Errors in punctuation, spelling and grammar are minimal.
Plagiarism is using somebody else's writing or ideas and expressing those ideas as your own. There is nothing wrong in drawing upon other writings, but if you pass these off as your own, it is plagiarism. Always use quotation marks if the idea or words in a written statement comes from an outside source. Always acknowledge that source with a footnote or body note. Any time you consult and draw on ideas from any source, you must cite your source, even if one of the sources is one of the assigned texts.
Any papers that show evidence of plagiarism will receive a failing grade.
Checklist for the Major Paper
______Critical bibliography for background research
______Outline of the paper