This website offers tools for instructors who want to use The Essential Guide to Writing History Papers, Oxford University Press, 2019 in their classrooms. The resources provided here help instructors to incorporate the book into any course. It includes sample assignments and grading rubrics with numbered references to book sections, so that it can be integrated into a content course with little or no direct writing instruction, as well as skeleton syllabi, scaffolded exercises, and workshop plans for a writing-focused seminar. The website and book together are also ideal for use in teaching preparation for doctoral-level graduate students.
About the book:
The Essential Guide to Writing History Papers is a step-by-step guide to the typical assignments of any North American history program at the undergraduate or master’s level: response papers, short-answer and analytical exam essays, historiography and book reviews, primary source interpretations, research projects, and imaginative essays. Each section contains prose explanations, exercises, and examples, individually numbered for easy reference in course materials and classroom exercises. Reading and specialized vocabulary are integrated with writing and revision throughout the book. Sections on research address the evolving nature of digital media while teaching the terms and logic of traditional sources and the reasons for citation as well as the styles.
The book is appropriate for studentsof any skill level, from those who struggle with the basics to those honing advanced skills such as learning how to comment effectively on others’ work.
The book is guided by the following principles: that effective writing is a process of discovery, achieved through the continual act of making choiceswhat to include or exclude, how to order elements, how to choose the right wordsand that these choices must be made according to the author’s goals for each piece and awareness of the intended audience.
These principles determine the structure of the book. Each chapter is devoted to one assignment type and begins with the goals that define that assignment, then follows the process of preparing, drafting, revising, and proofreading an essay, but the specific strategies and complexity of each of these steps varies depending on the assignment type.
This approach to writing is intended to help students produce an effective final product through a step-by-step series of instructions with examples and exercises and to build from simple, short essays to full research theses. It also aims to teach students why and how an essay is effective, thus empowering them to approach new writing challenges with the freedom to find their own voice while grounded in the mastery of a broad range of tools and strategies.
Integration of this book into courses should free faculty from devoting already overburdened class and advising time to writing instruction while making expectations clearer and more consistent for students.
The Oxford Guide to Writing History Papers responds to several urgent needs in higher education today. Students at every level and institution are less prepared for successful academic writing than ever, and Composition Studies research has seen the positive outcomes from interdisciplinary freshman writing courses drop off as students move on in their programs. Current best practice emphasizes Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) the concept that direct writing instruction and substantive writing requirements should continue throughout a student’s program in any discipline--and Writing in the Disciplines (WID)the idea that writing instruction in a student’s major should focus on specific disciplinary norms, vocabulary, and methods as well as building on interdisciplinary basics of rhetoric and style. The Oxford Guide to Writing History Papers meets these needs for history departments.
About the author
Katherine Pickering Antonova is Associate Professor of History at Queens College, City University of New York and author of An Ordinary Marriage: The World of a Gentry Family in Provincial Russia (Oxford, 2013). She is the founder of a freshman disciplinary writing course at Queens College, “Writing and History,” and was trained as a teaching fellow in the Columbia University Writing Program, where she also founded and organized the Undergraduate History Writing Workshop. The Oxford Guide to Writing History Papers is the culmination of eighteen years of classroom experience and experimentation in writing history.