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Writing a History Paper

Writing Your Paper

Some people like to write from an outline, some just like to start writing after some thought. In any case, give yourself enough time before the deadline so that you can

  • concentrate on getting your ideas down on paper, without worrying that much about punctuation, spelling, etc.
  • put the draft aside, then come back and refine and/or revise the content
  • polish the paper, paying attention to spelling, punctuation, grammar


While online spell checkers and grammar checkers are extremely helpful, they can not catch all typographical or grammatical errors. You need to read your paper carefully to catch all errors. Dictionaries can help with spelling, and, of course, with definitions, so that you use words correctly. The following may help:


Don't forget citation style.  There are many types of formats-make sure you know which you should be using. Most databases offer citation formatting with the results.


In Paper:

  • Cite Right: A Quick Guide to Citation Styles
    • HUNT REF-1 PN171 .F56 L55 2006
  • Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers
    • HUNT REF-1 LB2369 .T8 2007 additional copies on STACKS-2
    • FYI- this title may also be referred to as Turabian