Checklist for Final Papers in History


Content: 50%


__Clear and specific statement of your thesis in the introductory paragraph.

__Clear statement of your topic.

__Clear statement of its temporal boundaries (date range).

__Clear statement of your topic's watershed and its geographic boundaries.

__Each paragraph has one driving idea.

__Good transitions within paragraphs and between paragraphs.

__You stick to your subject.

__Use of appropriate evidence to support your thesis.

__You anticipate and respond to counter evidence.

__You have constructed a conclusion in which you state the significance of what you have learned.


Documentation: 25% (but up to 100% because incomplete documentation can result in a zero)


__Each idea or fact obtained from other authors or sources is clearly and fully documented, using footnotes to avoid plagiarism. The applies to direct quotations, paraphrases, charts, graphs, photos, maps, etc.

__Notes use Arabic numerals.

__All documentation follows the Turabian/ Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) rules for notes and bibliographies.

__You have used a minimum of five primary and ten secondary sources.

__All sources are properly sorted into primary and secondary in the bibliography.

__The bibliography contains only sources cited, not the ones you did not use at all.


Form: 20%


__You have perfectly and fully proofread your paper.

__Your diction is formal, i.e. no conversational language, contractions, slang, or jargon.

__Your language is clear and concise.

__You have avoided the use of first-person singular (I, me, my, myself).

__You have chosen an appropriate verb tense and you stick to it.

__You have avoided using the passive voice.

__You have observed the International Year of the Apostrophe by getting your possessives right.


Appearance: 5%


__Title of paper, course title, and your name included somewhere (but note that a title page is optional).

__Skip the plastic binders, extra-heavy paper, and other expensive niceties. Staples are fine.

__Two-sided ("duplex") printing saves paper; use it if you like.

__One well labeled and annotated map should be included.

__If other images are included, please label them as to source and date and list them all. A discursive caption is even better.

__Use 1" margins all around.

__Justify the left side of your text, but leave the right side jagged.

__Use 12-point Roman, Times Roman, CG Times, or similar type, with serifs. Not Courier. This is courier.

__Double-space all text except within notes and bibliographic entries.

__Number all pages except title page.