- Your research paper is due by midnight Saturday. Before you turn it in, I strongly recommend that you do a self-evaluation of your work using the guidelines I have provided using the evaluation form that is in the content area.
Also, be sure to ensure that your source citations are in the Chicago Style numerical format outlined in the Rampolla text. This is commonly known as the “Bibliography” style. Do not use the “Author/Date” parenthetical format of the APA or MLA style.
If you are at all uncertain about how to cite sources or what a completed paper should look like or need information you cannot find in Rampolla, you can find a wealth of information on citation styles and paper writing in general on the Columbia College Website. To access these resources click on Current Students > Library > Citing Sources. There you will find many online reference guides listed – especially the EasyBib feature that covers source citations. One of my favorites is the Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab). The Purdue OWL will not only provide examples of sources it contains a sample paper showing what a paper in Chicago Style should look like with bibliographic footnotes and a bibliography of sources at the end of the paper. For historical writing I ask that you use footnotes at the bottom of the page rather than endnotes at the end of the paper.
Be careful when using the footnotes feature in Microsoft Word – it provides only the basic book information in the footnote, not the entire Chicago style footnote information.
The most common problems I have seen in papers are:
- not using the required number of primary sources;
- not using a good selection of secondary sources (generally because only internet sources are used);
- using sources that are not academically credible – especially Wikipedia which is not an acceptable source
- not citing the sources of your information in the body of the paper using the required notes and bibliography style as prescribed in Chicago Manual of Style linked to the course homepage and in the Rampolla text – do not use parenthetical noted embedded in the text that are used in MLA or APA style;
- not citing the source of any information or idea that is not your own;
- spelling and grammatical errors that could easily have been detected using the spell checker.
All of these shortcomings are easy to avoid if you use the guidelines I have provided and the paper writing resources available to you through the course links.