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By: Boaz Shoshan. By: Li Guo. By: Michael Winter. By: Warren C. Turn next to more specialized books, taking the course reading lists and bibliographies as starting points.
Several hours spent browsing through library shelves of areas indicated in your first sources often lead to valuable discoveries. No essay should be attempted on the basis of textbooks. Also, it is unlikely that one book will contain all the factual information needed.
The most important depository is Stauffer Library and its various branches, which contain most of the books many in multiple copies that might be needed for an undergraduate essay and many more specialized works and journals. Articles in periodicals, which may contain new approaches to and concise sources of information, are too often overlooked by students.
Research does not mean hunting for books, or just reading them. It means reading them with definite questions in mind.
2. The Limits of Human Understanding
Before you begin to read, make sure that you understand your question or topic, and have some idea of what you need to know in order to deal with it. This is best achieved by working out a preliminary outline, indicating the main points you hope to deal with and the rough order in which they are likely to appear in your essay. Essays should not be written from open books, but from notes made while reading sources. It is advisable to save time by using the table of contents and index of any book you are consulting in order to locate relevant material.
Careful notation of research sources is imperative, including the author, title and page number of the source. When you have found material related to your topic, make notes by paraphrasing or summarizing in your own words the ideas which you think will be useful. You should make and revise outlines while doing the research for the paper, emphasizing your developing perception of the major issues. Research notes are your main tools; they should be filed under topic headings, reviewed and rearranged frequently, in order to fill in gaps in information or analysis.
This enables you to determine what is of value as you do the research for the paper; to return to an orderly collection of material if you have to leave it for any reason; and to organize your thoughts when you finally sit down to write the paper. Keep in mind the limitations and strengths of the sources you use. If you are using primary sources original sources such as newspapers, diaries, letters in your research, be aware of their essential nature and bias. Similarly, you should pay attention to the methodology and theoretical assumptions of secondary works articles or books by scholars.
Only if there is an unusually striking formulation of an idea should you copy the exact words, making sure to enclose the borrowed phrases in quotation marks. As you take your notes, be sure to keep track of the book and page number, so that you will be able to make proper acknowledgement of your sources. Ignorance is no excuse.
Plagiarism is a glaring form of intellectual theft and occurs whenever the language, ideas, or thoughts of an author are appropriated without acknowledgement by another author. It is also plagiarism to submit the same essay for credit in two different courses, or to submit an essay or take-home examination based on unauthorized group work. By following scrupulously the guidelines for documentation listed below in the section Documentation and Notes you will avoid the risk of plagiarism.
The penalty for plagiarism in the History Department is normally a mark of zero on the plagiarized assignment and, in some cases, the Chair may impose the penalty of failure in the course concerned or recommend that the Board of Studies impose a still heavier penalty. A detailed outline is of critical importance as you write the essay. When you write the essay, you are simply clothing this skeleton with flesh, developing themes and introducing relevant facts to illustrate the points you wish to make.
If your notes were taken properly, you will find that it is easy to reshuffle them to fit your outline. Try to leave sufficient time for at least one draft.
Toynbee and History: Critical Essays and Reviews
The first draft, which is for the development of your argument, can be written quickly, and then refined in each succeeding draft. The last one provides an opportunity to polish style. You should make sure that the introduction is clear, indicating the historical context and the problem under discussion; that the narrative and argument are presented logically and concisely in the body of the essay; and that the conclusion summarizes and unifies the arguments presented.
As a general rule, it is better to aspire to terseness and economy. Full reference:. Related articles Related pages:. Search over articles on psychology, science, and experiments. Search this site :. Leave this field blank :. Want to stay up to date? Follow us! Follow ExplorableMind. Footer bottom Explorable.
How to Write Psychology Research Reports and Essays, 7th, Findlay, Bruce | Buy Online at Pearson
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