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Essay style guide


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Essay style guide

  1. 1. Style Guide for History Essays
  2. 2. Formatting• 12 point font• Double or one-and-a-half spaced
  3. 3. When to Use QuotationsThere are two main reasons to use a quote.1) Provide a quote to supply a really importantpiece of evidence (generally from a primarysource) that you will then explain and drawconclusions from.2) Provide a quote to show your argument isdrawing on the work of an expert authority (andtherefore has credibility).
  4. 4. How to QuoteWhen a quote is less than two lines long, simply placeit in quotation marks and include a reference as in thisexample.Italics are not necessary.
  5. 5. How to QuoteWhen quotes are more than two lines long:* leave a line* indent on left and right* make the quote a smaller font than the rest of theparagraph* leave a line before continuingWhen you have done this, quotation marks areunnecessary.
  6. 6. How to Quote Here is an example for whenthe quote is more than two lines long.
  7. 7. When to Provide an In-Text ReferenceYou need to provide a reference 1) whenever you quoteanother author or 2) whenever you use another authorsidea (where that idea is specific and/or debatable).If you simply state, for example, that the French Revolutionwas in 1789, you dont need to reference the claim.Everybody knows this, nobody in particular authored thisidea and nobody contests it.However, if you stated that 40,000 people died in theTerror, you would need to provide a reference. This claim issufficiently specific that there could be differentperspectives and debate about it.
  8. 8. Why you need to provide referencesHonesty Its about honestly acknowledging who is the original author of the idea being presented. If you don’t correctly reference another author’s work, you could be accused of plagiarism.Verifiability A reference is like a hyperlink to a more detailed, more primary or more authoritative expression of the idea. If you stated that 40,000 people died in the Terror, the reader would be entitled to ask how do you know? By pointing the reader to an expert or a decisive piece of evidence on the topic, the reference provides an answer.Authority By referencing, you show that you are acquainted with relevant scholarship in the field.Enabling research By providing a reference, you are showing the reader where they could find out more about the topic.
  9. 9. Referencing a book (single author)
  10. 10. Referencing a journal article
  11. 11. Referencing a source from the web
  12. 12. Referencing a secondary source
  13. 13. Referencing other itemsPlease use the Harvard Referencing Guide atour Essay Resources page to find out how toappropriately reference other items.
  14. 14. Citing Ancient SourcesCiting ancient sources: Because of the nature of classical texts, as works thatwere composed long before printed editions (and even "pages"), they have aspecialised format.[Author], [Title] [Book/Section.(Poem, if applicable)].[Line #s cited]For example:Cicero, First Catilinarian 14.2.Plato, Symposium 215a3-218b7.If an author wrote only one work, you may omit the name of the work; forexample: Herodotus 9.1; rather than Herodotus, Histories 9.1. If you aregenerically citing a specific book in a work, capitalize both elements (BookEighteen or Book 18 or Book XVIII); generic references, such as “several books inthe Iliad,” should not be capitalized. If you are including a parenthetical citationat the end of a sentence – e.g. (Homer, Odyssey 1.1-3) – the full-stop shouldalways follows the citation.
  15. 15. Example of Citing an Ancient Source
  16. 16. Using ‘ibid’Ibid. is an abbreviation of the Latin word ibidemwhich means "in the same place".If your reference is from the same page of the samesource as the reference immediately before thisone, simply put ibid. in brackets; (ibid.). If yourereferencing the same source as you have just donebut a different page put, for example, (ibid. p. 73).
  17. 17. Bibliographies (a.k.a Reference Lists)A bibliography is an alphabetical list of the sources - books,magazines, newspapers, CD-ROMs, Internet, interviews, etc. - thatyou have used to prepare a piece of work.The purpose of bibliographies is to: acknowledge sources; givereaders information to identify and consult sources; make sure ourinformation is accurate.Create different sections for different source types, ie. literarysources and electronic sources.For an annotated bibliography, annotate each of the items in yourbibliography. In a sentence (or two, at most), explain 1) how thesource was useful in researching your essay and 2) provide anevaluation of its reliability.
  18. 18. Example EssaysThese essays all employ referencing conventionswell and have correctly formatted annotatedbibliographies.The Appeal of Hamas, Ursula CliffThe Genius of Hannibal, Jack HerringThe Birth of the Roman Navy, Pat Quinn Quirke