"History Papers 101"—a Guide to Writing History Papers for Professor Harkness
©Deborah E. Harkness, Michele Clouse, Kristen Geaman
Below are some guidelines for the writing of successful history papers. By successful, we mean
that in the process of writing you learn something, improve your writing skills, and increase your
chances of earning a more-than-acceptable grade (i.e. B- or above).
Following these guidelines will not guarantee you an "A" paper. The guidelines will help to make
the process of writing more enjoyable, productive, and instructive.
HOW ARE WE GRADING YOUR PAPERS?
Is it on time?
If your paper is handed in after 12:05 pm on the day due, you will receive an
automatic penalty of 10 points. 5 additional points will be deducted for every
subsequent 24-hour period or portion thereof that passes
. So, if you turn in your
paper at 1:00 pm on Tuesday you will be docked 15 points automatically, or the
equivalent of 1 ½ grades. Please note: this is to ensure fairness for your colleagues
class who turn their papers in on time.
Papers must never be put under the doors of your professor or your teaching
assistants. If you do so, 5 points will be automatically deducted.
If you don’t hand
your paper to your teaching assistant, please turn it in to one of the staff in
Department’s main office, where it will be date stamped and put in the
If you are ill and have a doctor's note, or have had a personal or family
crisis and have consulted with the counseling or advising staff, we will grant you an
extension. Extensions for other circumstances are given only with the joint approval of the
teaching assistant and the professor.
Social events, poor planning, computer/printer/internet failures, and other
excuses will not be accepted. Basically, expect every human, natural, and technological
disaster to befall you when writing a paper. PLAN AHEAD
. Does your paper have endnotes or footnotes? If your paper does not have endnotes or
footnotes, you will be automatically penalized 5 points in the first paper, and 10 points in the
Yes, we know you are typically only referring to one source and parenthetical