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In terms of format, the text of the essay should be 6-8 double-spaced typed pages in length, not counting title page, bibliography, and endnotes (if that is your preferred style of citation). It should feature 1-inch (2.54 cm) margins and the font should be set in Times New Roman at 12-point size. Please include a title page and number the pages of your essay.
In researching your essay, you are expected to demonstrate use of a minimum of four published scholarly sources (books and academic journal articles). At least two of these four sources must be books. The use of these sources must be demonstrated in your citations and bibliography. Of course, you are strongly encouraged to use more sources and broaden the scope of your research. With the exception of the textbook, other readings listed in the course outline may be included among your minimum number of sources if they are applicable to your essay topic.
You may make limited use of your textbook as an additional source of information. But your textbook will not be counted among the minimum number of published sources you are required to consult. Encyclopedic or specialist reference works (such as the Dictionary of Canadian Military History or the Oxford Companion to Canadian Military History) also will not be counted among your minimum number of published sources. These reference works are helpful starting points in your research, but they are not to be used as your main sources of information. You will be permitted to cite specific information from these sources, but you must not limit your research to this level of material.
Nonspecialist references such as Wikipedia must not be cited at all in your final essay or listed in your bibliography. Like the more specialized reference works noted above, they may be helpful starting points that can help orient you to a topic and lead you to more in-depth scholarly resources. But such nonspecialist references must not be used for more than that.
There are certain scholarly internet sources that are far more helpful, and some may be essential for your research. Many academic journals feature abstracts and full-text versions of articles on the Internet. You can explore such resources through the links available on the SMU Library home page for journals and article databases. Also, there is a growing number of scholarly books available in full-text electronic format through Novanet, the libraryâ€™s online catalogue. You may include on-line full-text scholarly journal articles among your minimum number of sources for the essay, as well as electronic books available through Novanet.
Other online resources that would be counted among your minimum number of acceptable sources would be the various publications available electronically from the Directorate of History and Heritage (DHH) of the Department of National Defence. DHHâ€™s website is at:
When you visit this site, look at the menu on the left side of the screen and click on the links for â€œHistoriesâ€ and â€œPublications.â€ These links will reveal further links to various official histories, commemorative histories, general histories, reports, and other sources that cover all facets of Canadian armed forcesâ€™ history (this includes the army, navy, and air force).
Depending on the topic you choose, you are encouraged, but not necessarily required, to make use of primary sources for your research essay. For information on the nature of primary and secondary sources in history, see â€œHints for Writing History Essays,â€ included below. If you have questions about the quality or appropriateness of your sources, please consult the instructor.
The chapter notes and the list of selected further readings at the end of your textbook are also obvious places to identify possible sources for your research.
NOTE: You MUST acknowledge the sources of all ideas expressed in your essay that are not common knowledge or based upon your own personal knowledge. Acknowledgement must take the form of footnotes or endnotes. This is in accordance with the notes and bibliography style of citation as demonstrated in the Chicago Manual of Style. Footnotes are placed at the bottom of each page of your essay. They should be numbered sequentially throughout the essay. Endnotes are placed sequentially in a single section at the end of your essay (before
your bibliography). The formatting conventions for footnotes and endnotes are identical. For further information on usage of footnotes or endnotes, see Section III of â€œHints for Writing
History Essaysâ€ below, as well as the online Style Manual for history essays offered by the Department of History at SMU (link provided below).
Your essay also must include a bibliography listing all works cited within your essay. Do not list sources in your bibliography if you did not demonstrate use of them in your footnotes or endnotes.
For examples on how to format and punctuate footnotes (or endnotes) and bibliography entries, see the department Style Manual available on-line at:
The department Style Manual features an extensive section listing different types of sources and how to properly format footnote citations and bibliographic references for them. It also features several sample essay pages at the end of the document, which shows you what the format of your finished essay should look like.
You may also consult the Chicago Manual of Styleâ€™s own quick style guide at: