Anna M. Cienciala (
History 557 Lecture Notes
Spring 2002 (Revised Jan. 2004)
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1. When you have some topics in mind either for a book report or a paper, (a) check the appropriate part of the Select, Annotated Bibliography of English Language Works on the History of East Central Europe and the Balkans which is listed in Hist.557 on the Internet. (b) When you have found a book or books that you would like to read, check the Watson Library On-Line Catalog to see if they are available, and then (c) consult the Instructor to make sure the books are right for you. This is particularly important if you have little or no background on the subject, so not all books in the bibliography are suitable for everyone. Finally, the Instructor must approve your book or paper topic, or it will not be graded. Before you start reading your book for a book reports, or books for a paper, first check the information on subject in the Lecture Notes and in Required Books.

2. If you are writing a paper check the Bibliographies listed in point 1 The next step is to see if the books of interest to you are listed in the On-Line Catalog, Watson Library. Check what sources on your subject are on the Internet. Use Friedheim’s Guide to History on the Internet and ask a Reference Librarian if you need help. Finally, see the Instructor to obtain approval for your paper topic; this approval is necessary if your paper is to be graded.

3. Making notes from books or other sources: If you have a word processor, make separate notes on each book, making sure you give full bibliographical data.. Or you can type or make legible notes by hand separately on each book or article. Leave a margin for inserting page numbers, especially for quotes you think you might use. It is best to keep your book/s until you have completed your report or paper. If you are using an Internet source and do not have a printer at your disposal, you can print out the information in the Computer Lab or Computer Center, but ask about page limits first.

4. Before you start writing:

a. Read your notes carefully and check gaps in information if any; if so, check the original from which you made the notes, or/and check the appropriate Encylopedia.

b. It is useful to first write a point outline of the book report or paper. Make sure you have covered all important points, then write the full version.

5. Leave yourself time to write a full draft version of your report or paper. Let it sit for a day or two, then go over it to eliminate or insert material; correct spelling and grammar if necessary.

6. Paper Format:

a. Introduction: State the key problem/s or question/s involved in the topic.

b. Body of Paper: Develop your topic.

c. Conclusion: draw the threads/ arguments together and give your conclusion.

d. Length: (a) Undergrad. Papers: 8-15 pages typed in double space, or 11-18 pages hand written, legibly in double space. Please leave 1 inch margins on either side of page . Work written in single space or handwritten in single space will not be corrected.

(b)Grad. Student papers: 15-25 pages typed in double space, or 18-28 pages hand written, legibly in double space.. Leave margins as stated in d. above.

7. Book Report Format:.

a. Give basic information on the author: dates of birth and death, or birth if living; what nationality, birth place, what other books if any the author has written.To find biographical information on authors see Guide 10 for Readers on same in Reference Room, Watson Library, or ask a Reference Librarian.

b. Summarize contents of the book in one or two paragraphs.

c. Discuss one or two aspects of the book which you found the most interesting.

d. Note any differences of factual information or interpretation between the book you are reporting on from the Lecture Notes on the subject or Required Books, or any other book/article on the subject that you may have read, and say what interpretation you think is most convincing.

d. Conclude by giving your opinion of the book ( e.g. is it well organized, well written, does it have any information gaps, or present other problems), and would you recommend it to other students?. If not, give your reasons.

e. Length: (a) An Undergrad Book Report should be 5-7 pages long typed in double space, or 7-10 pages hand written, legibly in double space. Leave 1 inch margins.

(b) Grad. Students are to write either 3 book reports, 5-10 pages each, typed in double space

(8-13 handwritten pages in double space). Please leave 1 inch margins on either side of the page.

or 1 paper 15-20 pages long.

8. Footnotes or End Notes in Papers: Always give the source of quotes, statistics, controversial opinions, etc. Footnotes are at the bottom of the page; End Notes are at the end. In either case, you must number your notes in sequence from first to last.

At first mention, you must give full bibliographical data, that is:: author’s full name, full book title, place and date of publication, plus page. After that, give short name and title plus page in footnotes or end notes.

In Book Reports, you can reference quotes, numbers, etc. by placing the page number in brackets after the information if it comes from the book under review e.g. (p. 49). If the quote etc. is from another book, article, or other source, then follow the instructions in par. above.

9. Bibliography: (at end of paper or book report).

In a paper, list authors alphabetically with full titles of books or articles (journal titles, vol. and issue numbers), place and date of publication. Include reference works and lecture notes, required and recommended booksm which you should use.

In a book report, list other sources you used other than the book you are reporting on, as in the par. above.

10. Deadlines: See syllabus.

11. Put your name and course number at top of lst page of your work, or in top left hand corner.

12. Number your pages.


1. Never include someone’s else’s work verbatim (exact words) in your paper or book report without giving the source. If you do not reference the source, you are committing Plagiarism, and this can mean a 0 grade for your work. The same is true if you summarize someone else’’s text and do not reference the source.

2. If you wish to use sources on the Internet, be sure to check out the author or work from each source comes to see whether it is reliable. There are many papers on the Internet which are not reliable. (See Friedheim).