Welcome to the Research Exercise Page As part of your ongoing academic training you are asked to complete this research paper exercise for the course you are currently enrolled in. The focus of this exercise will on women’s history in Mexico. The purpose of this exercise is to introduce you the research process and research paper construction. Before you begin, please preview the following eLearning module: Research Methodology The Exercise Your research paper project exercise begins with selecting a topic within the scope of this course. You will locate through the Schauerman Library two scholarly monographs, one scholarly article and one scholarly website. Once you complete this part of the assignment, your research paper will have a total of four sources. The Paper Your paper will include the following: A cover page | example The paper’s title on the first content page | example Three pages (excluding cover page) using 1 inch margins and 12 point Times New Roman font. Pages must have numbers. Footnotes using Turabian style | examples | how to insert a footnote Conventions to Follow when Writing History The following conventions were taken from Harvard’s A Brief Guide to Writing the History Paper. Write in the past tense. Some students have been taught to enliven their prose by writing in the “literary present” tense. Such prose, while acceptable in other disciplines, represents poor historical thinking. Since all historical events (including the composition of primary and secondary sources) took place at some point in the past, write about them in the past tense. Avoid vague generalizations. Historians value specificity, not equivocal phrases like “once upon a time” or “people always say that….” Avoid presentism or anachronisms. Resist the temptation to relate all historical arguments or concerns back to the present. Rather, investigate the past on its own terms. Take care not to jumble the chronological order of events. Paraphrase if you can, quote if you must. Many students rely on quotations as a crutch, missing an opportunity to develop their skills of historical analysis. Instead, quote sparingly. When you do quote, introduce the source and context of every remark for the benefit of an unfamiliar reader. Write in a formal, academic voice. Avoid using the first or second person (e.g., “I” and “you”), and shy away from passive sentence constructions. Phrases such as “I think” or “in my opinion” are redundant in expository writing. Proofread, proofread, proofread. Your readers will thank you.
Jason R. Suárez | Instructor of History
El Camino College | 16007 Crenshaw Boulevard, Torrance CA 90506 | (310) 532-3670
 World History Portal

History Writing Guides