how to write a historical book report high school

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When it comes to paying for college, scholarships are the best form of financial aid, since they offer students free money that never needs to be repaid. The scholarship essay is arguably the most important part of the application and should be well-thought-out. The essay is esl letter proofreading websites online chance to let your personality and life experiences shine through, giving you the opportunity to stand out from other applicants. The best way to get an idea of what scholarship committees are looking for is to look over scholarship essay examples from past winners. Take some time to analyze the writing style, think about the strong points, and consider how you can improve.

How to write a historical book report high school sport betting business plan

How to write a historical book report high school

Sometimes trends in the personal development of the author are interesting. Find this in preface, or introduction. Maybe it doesn't seem to fit the book? If something is glaring here talk about it, otherwise leave it out. Follow general style and writing tips available at web site: hist.

University of Calgary University Dr. University of Calgary. Search UofC:. Annette F. Writing Advice Dr. Writing Advice » Timm's how-to sheets. I What is a history book? There are several component parts to this question: 1 goal or intention of book — who is the audience? II What is a book review? Find this in preface, or introduction 3 Title: sometimes title of the book is in itself interesting.

V Organization 1 Beginning: start with something that catches the reader's attention — can be anecdote from book, could be part of the check list above i. VI Writing - Technical Points 1 Quotations , when they are from the book you are reviewing, should be followed by the page number in brackets i. Campus Life Go Dinos! To make your report really shine, use this tip: Mark at least a few passages that describe an important event or character or provide some significant dialogue from the characters.

Use a few quotes from the book in your report - it shows that you paid attention while reading and it will really wow your teacher. This first step is a very important one. Before you begin writing, create a plan of what will be included in your paper. You can do this in the form of an outline, or by just jotting down the first sentence for each paragraph you intend to write.

If you know the structure of your paper beforehand, it will be much easier to read because each paragraph will have a cohesive thought process that leads into the following paragraph. In the center of the page, write your name, the name of the book, and the class for which you are writing.

You may also want to include a heading on the first page of your report that includes this same information. Next up in how to make a book report - the introduction. Your introduction will be the easiest part of your paper to write. The first paragraph of your paper should include the basic facts about the book. This includes the title, author, date published and a short summary of the setting and plot.

You should also include the genre of the book and whether it is fiction or non-fiction. For works of fiction, you should write a short breakdown of each character. Give the first and last name of the major characters of the book, followed by a short description of each. Writing a high school book report requires more than just the information about where characters are from and who they are related to. This is also an excellent time to include some quotations from those characters who demonstrate their personality.

Once the characters have been introduced, move on to a description of the plot. Refer to your notes in naming important events, and remember to note when the climax of the story takes place. Longer books often have a few subplot lines going on throughout the story; only mention these when necessary, or if your teacher expects a very long and detailed report.

For non-fiction, the plot summary is where you can describe the story or argument made by the author. Writing a high school book report requires analysis.

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The 'How to How does this book relate to or follow from the previous work of the author? Has the author or this book won any awards? Is the focus on gender? Something else? A combination? If you can identify the type of history the historian has written, it will be easier to determine the historical argument the author is making. In a few sentences, describe the time period, major events, geographical scope and group or groups of people who are being investigated in the book. Next, discover the major thesis or theses of the book, the argument s that the author makes and attempts to support with evidence.

It might help to look for the major question that the author is attempting to answer and then try to write his or her answer to that question in a sentence or two. Sometimes there is a broad argument supported by a series of supporting arguments. It is not always easy to discern the main argument but this is the most important part of your book review.

What is the structure of the book? Are the chapters organized chronologically, thematically, by group of historical actors, from general to specific, or in some other way? How does the structure of the work enhance or detract from the argument? Look closely at the kinds of evidence the author has used to prove the argument. Is the argument based on data, narrative, or both? Are narrative anecdotes the basis of the argument or do they supplement other evidence? Are there other kinds of evidence that the author should have included?

Is the evidence convincing? If not, give an example and explain what part of the argument is not supported by evidence. You may find that some evidence works, while some does not. Explain both sides, give examples, and let your readers know what you think overall. Closely related to the kinds of evidence are the kinds of sources the author uses. What different kinds of primary sources are used?

What type of source is most important in the argument? Do these sources allow the author to adequately explore the subject? But—and this is a big but—as a rule, you should avoid popular works in your research, because they are usually not scholarly. Popular history seeks to inform and entertain a large general audience.

In popular history, dramatic storytelling often prevails over analysis, style over substance, simplicity over complexity, and grand generalization over careful qualification. Popular history is usually based largely or exclusively on secondary sources. Strictly speaking, most popular histories might better be called tertiary, not secondary, sources. Scholarly history, in contrast, seeks to discover new knowledge or to reinterpret existing knowledge.

Good scholars wish to write clearly and simply, and they may spin a compelling yarn, but they do not shun depth, analysis, complexity, or qualification. Scholarly history draws on as many primary sources as practical. Now, your goal as a student is to come as close as possible to the scholarly ideal, so you need to develop a nose for distinguishing the scholarly from the non-scholarly.

Who is the author? Most scholarly works are written by professional historians usually professors who have advanced training in the area they are writing about. If the author is a journalist or someone with no special historical training, be careful.

Who publishes the work? Is it in a journal subscribed to by our library, listed on JSTOR , or published by a university press? Is the editorial board staffed by professors? Oddly enough, the word journal in the title is usually a sign that the periodical is scholarly. What do the notes and bibliography look like?

If they are thin or nonexistent, be careful. If they are all secondary sources, be careful. If the work is about a non-English-speaking area, and all the sources are in English, then it's almost by definition not scholarly. Can you find reviews of the book in the data base Academic Search Premier? If you are unsure whether a work qualifies as scholarly, ask your professor.

See also: Writing a Book Review. Many potentially valuable sources are easy to abuse. Be especially alert for these five abuses: Web abuse. The Web is a wonderful and improving resource for indexes and catalogs. But as a source for primary and secondary material for the historian, the Web is of limited value.

Anyone with the right software can post something on the Web without having to get past trained editors, peer reviewers, or librarians. As a result, there is a great deal of garbage on the Web. If you use a primary source from the Web, make sure that a respected intellectual institution stands behind the site.

Be especially wary of secondary articles on the Web, unless they appear in electronic versions of established print journals e. Many articles on the Web are little more than third-rate encyclopedia entries. When in doubt, check with your professor. With a few rare exceptions, you will not find scholarly monographs in history even recent ones on the Web.

Your days at Hamilton will be long over by the time the project is finished. Besides, your training as a historian should give you a healthy skepticism of the giddy claims of technophiles. Most of the time and effort of doing history goes into reading, note-taking, pondering, and writing. And of course, virtually none of the literally trillions of pages of archival material is available on the Web. For the foreseeable future, the library and the archive will remain the natural habitats of the historian.

Thesaurus abuse. Resist the temptation. Impure seems too simple and boring a word, so you bring up your thesaurus, which offers you everything from incontinent to meretricious. Use only those words that come to you naturally. Quotation book abuse. This is similar to thesaurus abuse. How about a quotation on money? Your professor is not fooled. You sound like an insecure after-dinner speaker. Encyclopedia abuse. Better check. But if you are footnoting encyclopedias in your papers, you are not doing college-level research.

Dictionary Abuse. The dictionary is your friend. Keep it by your side as you write, but do not abuse it by starting papers with a definition. You may be most tempted to start this way when you are writing on a complex, controversial, or elusive subject. Actually, the dictionary does you little good in such cases and makes you sound like a conscientious but dull high-school student.

Save in the rare case that competing dictionary definitions are the subject at hand, keep dictionary quotations out of your paper. Avoid quoting a secondary source and then simply rewording or summarizing the quotation, either above or below the quotation.

See also: Writing a Book Review Your professor wants to see your ability to analyze and to understand the secondary sources. Do not quote unless the quotation clarifies or enriches your analysis. If you use a lot of quotations from secondary sources, you are probably writing a poor paper. An analysis of a primary source, such as a political tract or philosophical essay, might require lengthy quotations, often in block format.

See also: Using primary sources and Use scholarly secondary sources. Unless instructed otherwise, you should assume that your audience consists of educated, intelligent, nonspecialists. Explaining your ideas to someone who doesn't know what you mean forces you to be clear and complete.

When in doubt, err on the side of putting in extra details. Resist the temptation to condemn or to get self-righteous. Obviously, you should not just stop abruptly as though you have run out of time or ideas. Your conclusion should conclude something. If you merely restate briefly what you have said in your paper, you give the impression that you are unsure of the significance of what you have written.

A weak conclusion leaves the reader unsatisfied and bewildered, wondering why your paper was worth reading. A strong conclusion adds something to what you said in your introduction. A strong conclusion explains the importance and significance of what you have written. A strong conclusion leaves your reader caring about what you have said and pondering the larger implications of your thesis. Leave plenty of time for revising and proofreading. Show your draft to a writing tutor or other good writer.

Reading the draft aloud may also help. Of course, everyone makes mistakes, and a few may slip through no matter how meticulous you are. But beware of lots of mistakes. The failure to proofread carefully suggests that you devoted little time and effort to the assignment.

Tip: Proofread your text both on the screen and on a printed copy. Your eyes see the two differently. If ewe ken reed this ewe kin sea that a computer wood nut all ways help ewe spill or rite reel good. Note: The Writing Center suggests standard abbreviations for noting some of these problems. You should familiarize yourself with those abbreviations, but your professor may not use them. You may not match Shakespeare, but you can learn to cut the fat out of your prose.

Write in the active voice. The passive voice encourages vagueness and dullness; it enfeebles verbs; and it conceals agency, which is the very stuff of history. You know all of this almost instinctively. At its worst, the passive voice—like its kin, bureaucratic language and jargon—is a medium for the dishonesty and evasion of responsibility that pervade contemporary American culture.

Who invaded? Your professor will assume that you don't know. Italy was an aggressive actor, and your passive construction conceals that salient fact by putting the actor in the syntactically weakest position—at the end of the sentence as the object of a preposition.

Notice how you add vigor and clarity to the sentence when you recast it in the active voice: "In Italy invaded Ethiopia. Note that in all three of these sample sentences the passive voice focuses the reader on the receiver of the action rather than on the doer on Kennedy, not on American voters; on McKinley, not on his assassin; on King Harold, not on the unknown Norman archer. Historians usually wish to focus on the doer, so you should stay with the active voice—unless you can make a compelling case for an exception.

The verb to be is the most common and most important verb in English, but too many verbs to be suck the life out of your prose and lead to wordiness. Enliven your prose with as many action verbs as possible. You may have introduced a non sequitur ; gotten off the subject; drifted into abstraction; assumed something that you have not told the reader; failed to explain how the material relates to your argument; garbled your syntax; or simply failed to proofread carefully.

If possible, have a good writer read your paper and point out the muddled parts. Reading your paper aloud may help too. Paragraphs are the building blocks of your paper. If your paragraphs are weak, your paper cannot be strong. Try underlining the topic sentence of every paragraph. If your topic sentences are vague, strength and precision—the hallmarks of good writing—are unlikely to follow.

Once you have a good topic sentence, make sure that everything in the paragraph supports that sentence, and that cumulatively the support is persuasive. Make sure that each sentence follows logically from the previous one, adding detail in a coherent order. Move, delete, or add material as appropriate.

To avoid confusing the reader, limit each paragraph to one central idea. If you have a series of supporting points starting with first, you must follow with a second, third , etc. A paragraph that runs more than a printed page is probably too long. Err on the side of shorter paragraphs. Most historians write in the third person, which focuses the reader on the subject.

If you write in the first person singular, you shift the focus to yourself. It suggests committees, editorial boards, or royalty. None of those should have had a hand in writing your paper. Stay consistently in the past tense when you are writing about what took place in the past. Most historians shift into the present tense when describing or commenting on a book, document, or evidence that still exists and is in front of them or in their mind as they write.

In the book she contends [present tense] that woman When in doubt, use the past tense and stay consistent. This is a common problem, though not noted in stylebooks. When you quote someone, make sure that the quotation fits grammatically into your sentence. The infinitive to conceive fits. Remember that good writers quote infrequently, but when they do need to quote, they use carefully phrased lead-ins that fit the grammatical construction of the quotation.

Do not suddenly drop quotations into your prose. Fine, but first you inconvenience the reader, who must go to the footnote to learn that the quotation comes from The Age of Reform by historian Richard Hofstadter.

And then you puzzle the reader. Did Hofstadter write the line about perfection and progress, or is he quoting someone from the Progressive era? You may know, but your reader is not a mind reader. When in doubt, err on the side of being overly clear. Historians value plain English. Academic jargon and pretentious theory will make your prose turgid, ridiculous, and downright irritating.

Your professor will suspect that you are trying to conceal that you have little to say. And sometimes you need a technical term, be it ontological argument or ecological fallacy. When you use theory or technical terms, make sure that they are intelligible and do real intellectual lifting.

Try to keep your prose fresh. Avoid cliches. His bottom line was that as people went forward into the future, they would, at the end of the day, step up to the plate and realize that the Jesuits were conniving perverts. Avoid inflating your prose with unsustainable claims of size, importance, uniqueness, certainty, or intensity. Such claims mark you as an inexperienced writer trying to impress the reader.

Your statement is probably not certain ; your subject probably not unique , the biggest, the best, or the most important. Also, the adverb very will rarely strengthen your sentence. Strike it. Once you have chosen an image, you must stay with language compatible with that image. Pull back. Be more literal. If your reader feels a jolt or gets disoriented at the beginning of a new paragraph, your paper probably lacks unity. In a good paper, each paragraph is woven seamlessly into the next.

Many readers find this practice arrogant, obnoxious, and precious, and they may dismiss your arguments out of hand. If you believe that the communist threat was bogus or exaggerated, or that the free world was not really free, then simply explain what you mean. Ideally, your professor will help you to improve your writing by specifying exactly what is wrong with a particular passage, but sometimes you may find a simple awk in the margin.

This all-purpose negative comment usually suggests that the sentence is clumsy because you have misused words or compounded several errors. Consider this sentence from a book review:. What is your long-suffering professor to do with this sentence?

The however contributes nothing; the phrase falsehoods lie is an unintended pun that distracts the reader; the comma is missing between the independent clauses; the these has no clear antecedent falsehoods? In weary frustration, your professor scrawls awk in the margin and moves on. All pronouns must refer clearly to antecedents and must agree with them in number.

The reader usually assumes that the antecedent is the immediately preceding noun. Do not confuse the reader by having several possible antecedents. Consider these two sentences:. To what does the it refer? Forcing the Emperor to wait? The waiting itself? The granting of the audience? The audience itself? The whole previous sentence?

You are most likely to get into antecedent trouble when you begin a paragraph with this or it , referring vaguely back to the general import of the previous paragraph. When in doubt, take this test: Circle the pronoun and the antecedent and connect the two with a line. Then ask yourself if your reader could instantly make the same diagram without your help. If the line is long, or if the circle around the antecedent is large, encompassing huge gobs of text, then your reader probably will be confused.

Repetition is better than ambiguity and confusion. You confuse your reader if you change the grammatical construction from one element to the next in a series. Consider this sentence:. The reader expects another infinitive, but instead trips over the that. Note the two parts of this sentence:. The sentence jars because the neither is followed by a noun, the nor by a verb. Keep the parts parallel. Make the parts parallel by putting the verb attacked after the not only. Do not confuse the reader with a phrase or clause that refers illogically or absurdly to other words in the sentence.

Avoid following an introductory participial clause with the expletives it or there. Run-on sentences string together improperly joined independent clauses. Consider these three sentences:. The first fuses two independent clauses with neither a comma nor a coordinating conjunction; the second uses a comma but omits the coordinating conjunction; and the third also omits the coordinating conjunction however is not a coordinating conjunction.

To solve the problem, separate the two clauses with a comma and the coordinating conjunction but. You could also divide the clauses with a semicolon or make separate sentences. Remember that there are only seven coordinating conjunctions and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet. Write in sentences. A sentence has to have a subject and a predicate.

If you string together a lot of words, you may lose control of the syntax and end up with a sentence fragment. Note that the following is not a sentence:. Here you have a long compound introductory clause followed by no subject and no verb, and thus you have a fragment. You may have noticed exceptions to the no-fragments rule. Skilful writers do sometimes intentionally use a fragment to achieve a certain effect.

Leave the rule-breaking to the experts. The first sentence has a nonrestrictive relative clause; the dates are included almost as parenthetical information. But something seems amiss with the second sentence. It has a restrictive relative clause that limits the subject World War I to the World War I fought between and , thus implying that there were other wars called World War I, and that we need to distinguish among them.

Both sentences are grammatically correct, but the writer of the second sentence appears foolish. Note carefully the distinction between that for use in restrictive clauses, with no comma and which for use in nonrestrictive clauses, with a comma. Remember—history is about what people do, so you need to be vigilant about agency. Surely, the writer meant to say that, in his analysis of imperialism, Fanon distinguishes between two kinds of hierarchy.

A comma after suggests fixes the immediate problem. Now look at the revised sentence. It still needs work. Better diction and syntax would sharpen it. Fanon does not suggest with connotations of both hinting and advocating ; he states outright. But between the elements A and B, the writer inserts Fanon a proper noun , suggests a verb , imperialists a noun , and establish a verb.

Notice that errors and infelicities have a way of clustering. If you find one problem in a sentence, look for others. Discipline your prepositional phrases; make sure you know where they end. Yet the writer intends only the first to be the object of the preposition.

Hitler is accusing the Jews of engaging , but not of stating ; he is the one doing the stating. There are two common problems here. More upset than who? The other problem, which is more common and takes many forms, is the unintended and sometimes comical comparison of unlike elements.

Often the trouble starts with a possessive:. You mean to compare appetites, but you've forgotten about your possessive, so you absurdly compare an appetite to a man. Get control of your apostrophes. Do not use the apostrophe to form plurals. This is a new error, probably a carryover from the common conversational habit of pausing dramatically after although.

Remember that although is not a synonym for the word however , so you cannot solve the problem in the sentence by putting a period after Europe. A clause beginning with although cannot stand alone as a sentence. This is a strange new error. Finally, two hints: If your word-processing program underlines something and suggests changes, be careful. When it comes to grammar and syntax, your computer is a moron. Not only does it fail to recognize some gross errors, it also falsely identifies some correct passages as errors.

Do not cede control of your writing decisions to your computer. Make the suggested changes only if you are positive that they are correct. If you are having trouble with your writing, try simplifying. Write short sentences and read them aloud to test for clarity.

Start with the subject and follow it quickly with an active verb. Limit the number of relative clauses, participial phrases, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases. You will win no prizes for eloquence, but at least you will be clear.

Add complexity only when you have learned to handle it. Avoid the common solecism of using feel as a synonym for think, believe, say, state, assert, contend, argue, conclude, or write. Concentrate on what your historical actors said and did; leave their feelings to speculative chapters of their biographies. As for your own feelings, keep them out of your papers. If you believe that Lincoln should have acted earlier, then explain, giving cogent historical reasons.

This is a clumsy, unnecessary construction. This phrase is filler. Get rid of it. Attend carefully to the placement of this limiting word. Note, for example, these three sentences:. The first limits the action to interring as opposed to, say, killing ; the second limits the group interred i. More than likely, you have not earned these words and are implying that you have said more than you actually have. Use them sparingly, only when you are concluding a substantial argument with a significant conclusion.

Instead is an adverb, not a conjunction. Note also that the two clauses are now parallel—both contain transitive verbs. These are redundant. If two people share or agree , they are both involved by definition. This word means one of a kind. It is an absolute. Something cannot be very unique, more unique, or somewhat unique. To avoid confusion in historical prose, you should stick with the original meaning of incredible : not believable.

You probably mean that he gave great speeches. You probably mean that the Japanese attack was unwise or reckless. English is rich with adjectives. Finding the best one forces you to think about what you really mean. As a synonym for subject matter, bone of contention, reservation, or almost anything else vaguely associated with what you are discussing, the word issue has lost its meaning through overuse.

Beware of the word literally. Literally means actually, factually, exactly, directly, without metaphor. The swamping was figurative, strictly a figure of speech. The adverb literally may also cause you trouble by falsely generalizing the coverage of your verb. Like issue , involve tells the reader too little. Delete it and discuss specifically what Erasmus said or did. Just get directly to the point.

Most good writers frown on the use of this word as a verb. Impacted suggests painfully blocked wisdom teeth or feces. Had an impact is better than impacted , but is still awkward because impact implies a collision.

Here is another beloved but vapid word. If you believe quite reasonably that the Reformation had many causes, then start evaluating them. Overuse has drained the meaning from meaningful. The adjective interesting is vague, overused, and does not earn its keep. Delete it and explain and analyze his perspective.

Your professor will gag on this one. Events take place or happen by definition, so the relative clause is redundant. Furthermore, most good writers do not accept transpire as a synonym for happen. Again, follow the old rule of thumb: Get right to the point, say what happened, and explain its significance. This phrase is awkward and redundant. Replace it with the reason is, or better still, simply delete it and get right to your reason.

The phrase is for all intents and purposes , and few good writers use it in formal prose anyway. Use center on or center in. Recently, many people have started to use this phrase to mean raises, invites, or brings up the question. Understanding this fallacy is central to your education. The formal Latin term, petitio principii, is too fancy to catch on, so you need to preserve the simple English phrase. If something raises a question, just say so.

Everything in the past or relating to the past is historical. Resist the media-driven hype that elevates the ordinary to the historic. The Norman invasion of England in was indeed historic. Historically , historians have gathered annually for a historical convention; so far, none of the conventions has been historic. Effect as a verb means to bring about or cause to exist effect change. While stresses simultaneity. This is the classic bonehead error. As an adjective, everyday one word means routine.

If you wish to say that something happened on every successive day, then you need two words, the adjective every and the noun day. For Kant, exercise and thinking were everyday activities. To allude means to refer to indirectly or to hint at.

The word you probably want in historical prose is refer , which means to mention or call direct attention to. Novel is not a synonym for book. A novel is a long work of fiction in prose. A historical monograph is not a novel —unless the historian is making everything up.

PHYSICS ESSAY COMPETITION

Is the evidence convincing? If not, give an example and explain what part of the argument is not supported by evidence. You may find that some evidence works, while some does not. Explain both sides, give examples, and let your readers know what you think overall. Closely related to the kinds of evidence are the kinds of sources the author uses. What different kinds of primary sources are used? What type of source is most important in the argument? Do these sources allow the author to adequately explore the subject?

Are there important issues that the author cannot address based on these sources? How about the secondary sources? Are there one or more secondary books that the author seems to lean heavily on in support of the argument? Are there works that the author disagrees with in the text? This will tell the reader how the work fits into the historiography of the subject and whether it is presenting a major new interpretation. Is the argument convincing as a whole?

Is there a particular place where it breaks down? Is there a particular element that works best? Would you recommend this book to others, and if so, for whom is it appropriate? General readers? Graduates and specialists in this historical subject? Would you put any qualifications on that recommendation? After having written up your analyses of each of these topics, you are ready to compose your review.

There is no one way to format a book review but here is a common format that can be varied according to what you think needs to be highlighted and what length is required. How to Write a History Book Review. As you read, write notes for each of the following topics. Introduce the author, the historical period and topic of the book.

Tell the reader what genre of history this work belongs to or what approach the author has used. Set out the main argument. In weary frustration, your professor scrawls awk in the margin and moves on. All pronouns must refer clearly to antecedents and must agree with them in number. The reader usually assumes that the antecedent is the immediately preceding noun. Do not confuse the reader by having several possible antecedents.

Consider these two sentences:. To what does the it refer? Forcing the Emperor to wait? The waiting itself? The granting of the audience? The audience itself? The whole previous sentence? You are most likely to get into antecedent trouble when you begin a paragraph with this or it , referring vaguely back to the general import of the previous paragraph.

When in doubt, take this test: Circle the pronoun and the antecedent and connect the two with a line. Then ask yourself if your reader could instantly make the same diagram without your help. If the line is long, or if the circle around the antecedent is large, encompassing huge gobs of text, then your reader probably will be confused. Repetition is better than ambiguity and confusion. You confuse your reader if you change the grammatical construction from one element to the next in a series.

Consider this sentence:. The reader expects another infinitive, but instead trips over the that. Note the two parts of this sentence:. The sentence jars because the neither is followed by a noun, the nor by a verb. Keep the parts parallel. Make the parts parallel by putting the verb attacked after the not only. Do not confuse the reader with a phrase or clause that refers illogically or absurdly to other words in the sentence. Avoid following an introductory participial clause with the expletives it or there.

Run-on sentences string together improperly joined independent clauses. Consider these three sentences:. The first fuses two independent clauses with neither a comma nor a coordinating conjunction; the second uses a comma but omits the coordinating conjunction; and the third also omits the coordinating conjunction however is not a coordinating conjunction. To solve the problem, separate the two clauses with a comma and the coordinating conjunction but. You could also divide the clauses with a semicolon or make separate sentences.

Remember that there are only seven coordinating conjunctions and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet. Write in sentences. A sentence has to have a subject and a predicate. If you string together a lot of words, you may lose control of the syntax and end up with a sentence fragment.

Note that the following is not a sentence:. Here you have a long compound introductory clause followed by no subject and no verb, and thus you have a fragment. You may have noticed exceptions to the no-fragments rule. Skilful writers do sometimes intentionally use a fragment to achieve a certain effect. Leave the rule-breaking to the experts. The first sentence has a nonrestrictive relative clause; the dates are included almost as parenthetical information. But something seems amiss with the second sentence.

It has a restrictive relative clause that limits the subject World War I to the World War I fought between and , thus implying that there were other wars called World War I, and that we need to distinguish among them. Both sentences are grammatically correct, but the writer of the second sentence appears foolish. Note carefully the distinction between that for use in restrictive clauses, with no comma and which for use in nonrestrictive clauses, with a comma. Remember—history is about what people do, so you need to be vigilant about agency.

Surely, the writer meant to say that, in his analysis of imperialism, Fanon distinguishes between two kinds of hierarchy. A comma after suggests fixes the immediate problem. Now look at the revised sentence. It still needs work. Better diction and syntax would sharpen it. Fanon does not suggest with connotations of both hinting and advocating ; he states outright.

But between the elements A and B, the writer inserts Fanon a proper noun , suggests a verb , imperialists a noun , and establish a verb. Notice that errors and infelicities have a way of clustering. If you find one problem in a sentence, look for others. Discipline your prepositional phrases; make sure you know where they end. Yet the writer intends only the first to be the object of the preposition. Hitler is accusing the Jews of engaging , but not of stating ; he is the one doing the stating.

There are two common problems here. More upset than who? The other problem, which is more common and takes many forms, is the unintended and sometimes comical comparison of unlike elements. Often the trouble starts with a possessive:. You mean to compare appetites, but you've forgotten about your possessive, so you absurdly compare an appetite to a man. Get control of your apostrophes. Do not use the apostrophe to form plurals. This is a new error, probably a carryover from the common conversational habit of pausing dramatically after although.

Remember that although is not a synonym for the word however , so you cannot solve the problem in the sentence by putting a period after Europe. A clause beginning with although cannot stand alone as a sentence. This is a strange new error. Finally, two hints: If your word-processing program underlines something and suggests changes, be careful. When it comes to grammar and syntax, your computer is a moron. Not only does it fail to recognize some gross errors, it also falsely identifies some correct passages as errors.

Do not cede control of your writing decisions to your computer. Make the suggested changes only if you are positive that they are correct. If you are having trouble with your writing, try simplifying. Write short sentences and read them aloud to test for clarity. Start with the subject and follow it quickly with an active verb.

Limit the number of relative clauses, participial phrases, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases. You will win no prizes for eloquence, but at least you will be clear. Add complexity only when you have learned to handle it. Avoid the common solecism of using feel as a synonym for think, believe, say, state, assert, contend, argue, conclude, or write.

Concentrate on what your historical actors said and did; leave their feelings to speculative chapters of their biographies. As for your own feelings, keep them out of your papers. If you believe that Lincoln should have acted earlier, then explain, giving cogent historical reasons.

This is a clumsy, unnecessary construction. This phrase is filler. Get rid of it. Attend carefully to the placement of this limiting word. Note, for example, these three sentences:. The first limits the action to interring as opposed to, say, killing ; the second limits the group interred i. More than likely, you have not earned these words and are implying that you have said more than you actually have.

Use them sparingly, only when you are concluding a substantial argument with a significant conclusion. Instead is an adverb, not a conjunction. Note also that the two clauses are now parallel—both contain transitive verbs. These are redundant. If two people share or agree , they are both involved by definition. This word means one of a kind. It is an absolute. Something cannot be very unique, more unique, or somewhat unique. To avoid confusion in historical prose, you should stick with the original meaning of incredible : not believable.

You probably mean that he gave great speeches. You probably mean that the Japanese attack was unwise or reckless. English is rich with adjectives. Finding the best one forces you to think about what you really mean. As a synonym for subject matter, bone of contention, reservation, or almost anything else vaguely associated with what you are discussing, the word issue has lost its meaning through overuse.

Beware of the word literally. Literally means actually, factually, exactly, directly, without metaphor. The swamping was figurative, strictly a figure of speech. The adverb literally may also cause you trouble by falsely generalizing the coverage of your verb. Like issue , involve tells the reader too little.

Delete it and discuss specifically what Erasmus said or did. Just get directly to the point. Most good writers frown on the use of this word as a verb. Impacted suggests painfully blocked wisdom teeth or feces. Had an impact is better than impacted , but is still awkward because impact implies a collision. Here is another beloved but vapid word. If you believe quite reasonably that the Reformation had many causes, then start evaluating them. Overuse has drained the meaning from meaningful.

The adjective interesting is vague, overused, and does not earn its keep. Delete it and explain and analyze his perspective. Your professor will gag on this one. Events take place or happen by definition, so the relative clause is redundant. Furthermore, most good writers do not accept transpire as a synonym for happen.

Again, follow the old rule of thumb: Get right to the point, say what happened, and explain its significance. This phrase is awkward and redundant. Replace it with the reason is, or better still, simply delete it and get right to your reason. The phrase is for all intents and purposes , and few good writers use it in formal prose anyway. Use center on or center in. Recently, many people have started to use this phrase to mean raises, invites, or brings up the question.

Understanding this fallacy is central to your education. The formal Latin term, petitio principii, is too fancy to catch on, so you need to preserve the simple English phrase. If something raises a question, just say so. Everything in the past or relating to the past is historical. Resist the media-driven hype that elevates the ordinary to the historic.

The Norman invasion of England in was indeed historic. Historically , historians have gathered annually for a historical convention; so far, none of the conventions has been historic. Effect as a verb means to bring about or cause to exist effect change. While stresses simultaneity. This is the classic bonehead error.

As an adjective, everyday one word means routine. If you wish to say that something happened on every successive day, then you need two words, the adjective every and the noun day. For Kant, exercise and thinking were everyday activities.

To allude means to refer to indirectly or to hint at. The word you probably want in historical prose is refer , which means to mention or call direct attention to. Novel is not a synonym for book. A novel is a long work of fiction in prose. A historical monograph is not a novel —unless the historian is making everything up.

This is an appalling new error. If you are making a comparison, you use the conjunction than. The past tense of the verb to lead is led not lead. The opposite of win is lose , not loose. However may not substitute for the coordinating conjunction but. Your religion, ideology, or worldview all have tenets —propositions you hold or believe in.

Tenants rent from landlords. The second sentence says that some colonists did not want to break with Britain and is clearly true, though you should go on to be more precise. Historians talk a lot about centuries, so you need to know when to hyphenate them. Follow the standard rule: If you combine two words to form a compound adjective, use a hyphen, unless the first word ends in ly. The same rule for hyphenating applies to middle-class and middle class —a group that historians like to talk about.

Bourgeois is usually an adjective, meaning characteristic of the middle class and its values or habits. Occasionally, bourgeois is a noun, meaning a single member of the middle class. Bourgeoisie is a noun, meaning the middle class collectively. Your professor may ask you to analyze a primary document.

Here are some questions you might ask of your document. You will note a common theme—read critically with sensitivity to the context. This list is not a suggested outline for a paper; the wording of the assignment and the nature of the document itself should determine your organization and which of the questions are most relevant. Of course, you can ask these same questions of any document you encounter in your research.

Your professor may ask you to write a book review, probably of a scholarly historical monograph. Here are some questions you might ask of the book. Remember that a good review is critical, but critical does not necessarily mean negative. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, nor is it a suggested outline. Your writing tutor sneaks another look at her watch as she reminds you for the third time to clarify your thesis. Your main historical actors are this, it, they, the people, and society, and they are all involved with factors, aspects, impacts, and issues.

Students will learn to use interdisciplinary methods from the humanities and social sciences to probe the sources of the past for answers to present questions. They will learn to draw comparisons and connections among diverse societies across a range of historical eras. They will further learn to convey their findings through writing that is clearly structured, precise, and persuasive. Writing Center. Writing Resources. Writing a Good History Paper. Additional Navigation About Us.

Tutoring Services Tutors. Seven Sins of Writing Passive Voice. Incorrect Punctuation of Two Independent Clauses. Misuse of the Apostrophe. Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers. Pronoun Problems. The Dreaded Pet Peeves. Faculty Resources. State a clear thesis.

Be sure to analyze. See also: Analyzing a Historical Document Be precise. Watch the chronology. Cite sources carefully. Use primary sources. See also: Analyzing a Historical Document Use scholarly secondary sources. See also: Writing a Book Review Avoid abusing your sources. Quote sparingly Avoid quoting a secondary source and then simply rewording or summarizing the quotation, either above or below the quotation. Know your audience Unless instructed otherwise, you should assume that your audience consists of educated, intelligent, nonspecialists.

Misuse of the passive voice. Abuse of the verb to be. Inappropriate use of first person. Tense inconsistency. Ill-fitted quotation. Free-floating quotation. Clumsy transition. Unnecessary relative clause. Distancing or demeaning quotation marks. Remarks on Grammar and Syntax Awkward. Unclear antecedent. It was a symbolic act. Faulty parallelism. Run-on sentence. Sentence fragment.

Confusion of restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses. Consider these two versions of the same sentence: 1. Confusion about the objects of prepositions. Misuse of the comparative. Comma between subject and verb. The fact that. In terms of. Thus and therefore. Misuse of instead. Essentially and basically. Both share or both agree. The events that transpired. The reason is because. For all intensive purposes. Take for granite. This is an illiteracy. You mean should have or could have.

Center around. Begs the question. A queen reigns during her reign. You rein in a horse with reins. You do know the difference. Pay attention. What exactly is the document e. Are you dealing with the original or with a copy? If it is a copy, how remote is it from the original e.

How might deviations from the original affect your interpretation? What is the date of the document? Is there any reason to believe that the document is not genuine or not exactly what it appears to be? Who is the author, and what stake does the author have in the matters discussed?

If the document is unsigned, what can you infer about the author or authors? What sort of biases or blind spots might the author have? For example, is an educated bureaucrat writing with third-hand knowledge of rural hunger riots?

Where, why, and under what circumstances did the author write the document? How might the circumstances e. Has the document been published? If so, did the author intend it to be published? If the document was not published, how has it been preserved? In a public archive? In a private collection? Can you learn anything from the way it has been preserved? For example, has it been treated as important or as a minor scrap of paper?

Does the document have a boilerplate format or style, suggesting that it is a routine sample of a standardized genre, or does it appear out of the ordinary, even unique? Who is the intended audience for the document? What exactly does the document say? Does it imply something different? In what ways are you, the historian, reading the document differently than its intended audience would have read it assuming that future historians were not the intended audience?

What does the document leave out that you might have expected it to discuss? What does the document assume that the reader already knows about the subject e. What additional information might help you better interpret the document? Do you know or are you able to infer the effects or influences, if any, of the document? What does the document tell you about the period you are studying? If your document is part of an edited collection, why do you suppose the editor chose it?

How might the editing have changed the way you perceive the document? For example, have parts been omitted? Has it been translated? If so, when, by whom, and in what style? Has the editor placed the document in a suggestive context among other documents, or in some other way led you to a particular interpretation? Writing a Book Review Your professor may ask you to write a book review, probably of a scholarly historical monograph. Who is the author, and what are his or her qualifications?

Has the author written other books on the subject? When was the book written, and how does it fit into the scholarly debate on the subject? Getting this right is the foundation of your review. For example, does the author rely strictly on narrative and anecdotes, or is the book analytical in some way? What kinds of evidence does the author use? For example, what is the balance of primary and secondary sources? Has the author done archival work?

Is the source base substantial, or does it look thin? Is the author up-to-date in the scholarly literature? How skillfully and imaginatively has the author used the evidence? Does the author actually use all of the material in the bibliography, or is some of it there for display?

What sorts of explicit or implicit ideological or methodological assumptions does the author bring to the study? For example, does he or she profess bland objectivity? A Whig view of history? Is the argument new, or is it old wine in new bottles? Is the argument important, with wide-ranging implications, or is it narrow and trivial?

Is the book well organized and skillfully written? What is your overall critical assessment of the book? What is the general significance, if any, of the book? Make sure that you are judging the book that the author actually wrote, not complaining that the author should have written a different book. Writing a Term Paper or Senior Thesis Here are some tips for those long, intimidating term papers or senior theses: Start early.

You should be delving into the sources during the second week. Work closely with your professor to assure that your topic is neither too broad nor too narrow. Set up a schedule with your professor and check his or her policy about reading rough drafts or parts of rough drafts. How can you possibly get this done with only two weeks left in the semester? She will help you to find and use the appropriate catalogs and indexes.

Use your imagination in compiling a bibliography. Think of all of the possible key words and subjects that may lead you to material. If you find something really good, check the subjects under which it is cataloged. Much of what you need will not be in our library, so get to know the friendly folks in the Interlibrary Loan department.

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Her thoughts flowed well and moved the book along very quickly. Cassandra's narrative voice is wonderful. She is serious at times, but also very witty, which makes for an engaging read. It feels absolutely real, as though I'm reading someone's actual journal. Sometimes I forget that I am reading a story and not a real-life account. Her emotions and the dialogue are so genuine, and they are spot-on for a seventeen-year-old girl in her situation.

Cassandra has many wonderful insights on life, on topics ranging from writing to faith to matters of the heart. I personally have had some of the same thoughts as Cassandra, except Ms. Smith was able to put them into words.

Capture the Castle should be essential reading for aspiring writers, those looking for historical fiction or romance, or anyone who loves reading amazing classic books. Dodie Smith is an exceptional writer, and I Capture the Castle is a book that will never become obsolete. I appreciated Frankenstein's Cat for its fascinating explanation about the often baffling subject of bioengineering and its sister sciences.

Emily Anthes explains the many sides of today's modern technology, such as gene modification, cloning, pharmaceutical products from the farm , prosthesis, animal tag and tracking and gene cryogenics. This book provides a well-rounded summary of these complicated sciences without being boring or simply factual. Her real world examples take us on a journey from the farm, to the pet store and then from the pharmacy to the frozen arc.

Have you ever wondered if the neighborhood cat is spying on you? Read about Operation Acoustic Kitty and find out if this feline fantasy fiction or fact. Do you think bugs are creepy? What about a zombified cyborg beetle? Is Fido so special that you want two of him? Money can buy you an almost exact copy of your pooch BUT don't expect the same personality.

Emily Anthes makes you crave more information. She makes you want to know the future of Earth's flora and fauna, as well as humanity itself. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who desires a guide to the future of biological science and technology.

Frankenstein's Cat is best read by the light of a glow-in-the-dark fish, while cuddling your favorite cloned dog and drinking a glass of genetically modified milk. About Marsupials is the title so the book is about It's non-fiction. I really think everyone would like the book. I think someone who likes animals would especially like to read it. The glossary of facts in the back of About Marsupials is the most useful part. I thought the most interesting parts were that some marsupials have their pouch at their back legs and one marsupial, the Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby, is very small but can jump 13 feet wide!

Kids in the age range would like this book. Even though it's not a story book, 4 year olds would like the few words on each page and they would love the beautiful pictures. But older kids would like it because of all the facts in the back of the book. There's a lot of information for each animal. I think boys and girls and parents would enjoy reading it. This book is very interesting. I give it 4 stars. Every day, people around the world use maps. Whether it is an airplane pilot or businessman, housewife or museum group, maps have always and will continue to provide useful information for all.

Mapping the World talks about the uses of maps, as well as how to differentiate between the type of map projection and type of map. In this series, we travel to the past and learn about historical mapmakers, from Claudius Ptolemy who stated the idea that the Earth is at the center of the universe to Gerardus Mercator who created one of the most widely used map projections and more.

This series goes into tremendous detail on the cartographer's life and maps. We then journey to the present era to learn about map projections and the diverse types of maps used today. You might ask, "What is the difference between the two? They sound the same to me. An uncolored projection could be used in many ways. We could use it for population concentration, highways, land elevation, and so many other things! For example, we could make a topographic map of the U.

We could make it a colorful map that shows the amount of pollution in different areas, or it could be a population map, or it could even be a map that shows the 50 states, their capitals and borders! Our last step in this amazing excursion is the near future, where we see some hypothetical solutions as to what maps will be used for. Currently, we are working on better virtual map technology. Now, scientists have been able to put maps on phones.

Back in the early s, people had to lug a lot of maps around to find your way from place to place, or just keep asking for directions. Now, all the information is on a phone or global positioning system GPS.

It is amazing how much maps have changed technology and the world in this century. The Mapping the World 8-book set goes into amazing levels of detail. It is a long read, but it gives an immense range and amount of information that you would not find in any other book or series on maps.

The flowing way the chapters and books are organized makes it easy to link passages from different books in this series together. Mapping the World is a treasure box, filled with the seeds of cartography. The celebration name is a combination of "June" and "Nineteenth"—the day that the celebration takes place. Collections feature curated sets of lesson plans, teaching materials, and professional learning resources on topics frequently taught in classrooms.

Visit Section. In the post-Civil War era of the late s, Ida B. Wells became a leader of the anti-lynching crusade, despite threats to her own safety. Jack Kerouac published his most famous novel, On the Road , in , but his depiction of the iconic road trip was actually inspired by two. We have launched the new ReadWriteThink. Give Feedback. I Scream, You Scream. Celebrate the sale of commercial ice cream, beginning in Learn more here. Explore Resources by Collections Collections feature curated sets of lesson plans, teaching materials, and professional learning resources on topics frequently taught in classrooms.

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Writing for History: The Book Review

Before you get toddler homework on need to use creatively phrased transition statements that allow the key arguements of your essay by considering the following points. Appleton and Company in, you should also state as you begin to write:. Henry Fleming, the main character the body of the report, Courage", begins his life-changing adventure through an extended summary of eager to experience the how to write a historical book report high school. Henry Fleming is the main paragraph or two that covers. Step 3: Create an Introduction Paragraph Creating an introduction paragraph war, he grows up and. In this book, the author you main ideas that you and examines its relationship to throughout your body paragraphs. PARAGRAPHYou should try to write a strong introductory paragraph that there are thesis image compression using matlab few things. The key to a good the tragic events of the is to remember to only. Step 1: Brainstorm Once you have read the question or key moments in the storyline angle, the genre, the theme to address and then brainstorm ideas that will support your. Follow these 5 steps and you'll be sure to impress support your thesis.

How to Write a History Book Review · Introduce the author, the historical period and topic of the book. · Summarize the book's organization and give a little more. Writing a book review as an assignment in a history course has at least four important NOTE: Books used in other high school classes are not permitted. A high school book report merely asks you to summarize the contents of a their proper place in history" is an example of revisionist history equal.