Doc Carney

    |   History, Culture, Life

Help, Info, and Reference

You may freely use the following materials for any personal or educational purpose, but none may be copied for any commercial or other for-profit use. If you find these materials helpful, please comment below. Please also include your institutional affiliation, if any.


How to Study History

“History is a method of studying and evaluating past events, trends, and conditions. Professional historians (your professor and the authors of the history books you are reading) search for, compile, and interpret sources or traces of things past. What kind of things? Everything that was: the social, economic, political, cultural, psychological, even biological past. History is, therefore, among the most interdisciplinary of subjects.  . . . “

How to Write a History Paper

“History is a method of studying and evaluating past events, trends, and conditions. Professional historians (your professor and the authors of the history books you are reading) search for, compile, and interpret sources or traces of things past. What kind of things? Everything that was: the social, economic, political, cultural, psychological, even biological past. History is, therefore, among the most interdisciplinary of subjects.  . . .”

Quick Tips for Better Writing

“Write your papers three times: first, to get the paper’s elements in rough form; second, to make sure all your paper’s elements are complete and in logical and rhetorical order; and third, to polish all your paper’s parts and to meticulously check for spelling or typographical errors.  . . . “

A Few Stylistic Recommendations

“‘Style,’ in the sense used here, does not mean self-expression of personality. Instead, it refers to generally recognized principles for relating your ideas and arguments in writing. Just as playing a musical instrument involves certain self-disciplines–tempo must be kept ”accurate,” hand and fingers must be held “correctly,” attacks and releases must be executed in a certain way–writing also has disciplines.  . . . “

Citation and Paper Format Standards in History

“One very important feature of the modern professional world is the prevalence of standards. Standards prescribe agreed-upon ways of conducting business, rendering services, manufacturing products, building safe and reliable structures, and the publication and dissemination of information and knowledge. Without standards, little we enjoy in the modern world would be possible.  . . . “

What is an Interpretive Book Review?

“What it is not: an “interpretive book review” is not a “book report.” It may, like a report, provide a synopsis of the book author’s main points, arguments, and evidence, but it must go far beyond that. . . . It may, like a report, provide a synopsis of the book author’s main points, arguments, and evidence, but it must go far beyond that. . . . “

What is a Monograph?

“Webster’s Definition: a highly detailed and thoroughly documented study or paper written about a limited area of a subject or field of inquiry.  . . . Usually one author, usually a professional historian.  . . . “

How to Find History Materials in the Library

“Develop at list of search terms. You will use these to search on-line catalog,  and to search in printed indexes, bibliographies, and other finding aids.  . . . Develop a list of search sources. A search source is a catalog, or index, or bibliography in which you hope to find citations to books and articles.  . . . “

Sources on Historical Authors

“Some of the following sources will provide biographical information on authors. Others may simply cite works by the author in question. Keep in mind, though, that a great deal can be learned about an historian by noting what she has published in addition to the book you are reading.  . . .  Remember also that an academic author will usually mention institutional affiliations, colleagues, and intellectual debts in his preface or forward.  . . . “


Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>