Your assignment is to write a biography of someone from our period of study, from Newton to…

MOHAWK COLLEGE OF APPLIED ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY
BIOGRAPHY ASSIGNMENT
WESTERN CIVILIZATION II AS403
Your assignment is to write a biography of someone from our period of study, from Newton to Nixon. We are less interested in the details of your subject’s life than we are in the time and place in which your subject lived; a biography, as Tuchman (1982) observes is written “less for the sake of the individual subject than as a vehicle for exhibiting an age.”(81) Use your subject as a mirror in which your reader sees reflected the circumstances of the period in which your subject lived.
Your paper should be 700 words in length, double-spaced, 12 point font and standard margins. Pages should be numbered including the title page and reference page. The title page should include your particulars, course name and number all of which should be centered on the page.
The bibliography should be in correct APA format, see: APA Style Guide. The title References should be centered at the top of the page. Your bibliography should have a minimum of five signed references. No unsigned articles, no encyclopedia entries please. Single-space within the entry and double space between entries.
Wearing, D. (2009). A really important book about the history of everything.
Berkeley: University of California Press.
Worsley, G. (1989). A less important book about my career as the goalie for the
Montreal Canadiens. London: Oxford University Press.
In text citations should be in correct APA format. Please introduce quotations and paraphrases with a lead in. For example:
According to Dryden and Roy (2005) the best thing about playing goal for the Montreal Canadiens was that “there was plenty of time on the road for reading big fat history books” (p. 89).
Wherever possible paraphrase from secondary sources. Quote directly only to preserve a complex idea, or when it could not be written any better. For example:
According to Kennedy (1987) “[by] the end of the century they [the Ottoman Turks] had taken Greece and the Ionian islands, Bosnia and much of the rest of the Balkans; and worse was to come in the 1520s when their formidable janissary armies press toward Budapest and Vienna” (p. 3-4).
According to Mackenzie King, Canada’s longest serving Prime Minister “some countries have too much history; Canada has too much geography” (Ovechkin, 2008, p. 8).
When paraphrasing or summarizing you must also give credit to the author of the secondary source from which you are borrowing. For Example:
According to Halladay (2006, p. 341) starting pitchers in major league baseball often talk with one another about the importance of reading history and in particular biography. Pitchers see themselves as artists and recognize in the biographer a kindred spirit playing to a large audience.
Yours should be the dominant voice in the paper.
Your introduction should introduce the reader to the subject matter of your paper. There should be a clearly stated purpose for writing in the introduction. A less than satisfactory purpose would be the retelling of the historical narrative of your subject’s life. A more satisfactory purpose would be to ask “Why has Alexander come to be remembered as ‘the Great’ and not Alexander III?” It is quite alright to make an announcement. For example:
The purpose of this paper is to answer the question how did Joan of Arc come to represent so many things to so many people?
The clearly and narrowly defined purpose for writing, or thesis statement, should be followed by a summary of the supporting arguments you intend to develop in your paper in order to achieve your narrowly defined purpose for writing. For example:
The purpose of this paper is to answer the question how did Joan of Arc come to represent so many things to so many people? To some Joan, having secured the throne for Charles VII, is a symbol of the French monarchy, while to others she is a patron saint of the French nation; burned at the stake as a heretic at Rouen in 1431, she was, albeit belatedly, beatified by the Roman Catholic Church in 1909 and canonized two years after the Great War. The short life of Joan of Arc has provided subject matter and inspiration for major writers from Shakespeare to Shaw, and she has come to be regarded by many as an iconic feminist figure.
It should not be necessary to make reference to secondary sources in you introduction
It would be appropriate in the introduction to the paper on Joan of Arc to provide a paragraph of background. Joan lived during the Hundred Years War, who were the major players, what was the nature of the quarrel? What were the English doing in France and why was the Duke of Burgundy fighting with the English?
Your conclusion should summarize the supporting arguments and offer a final word on your subject. In the conclusion remind your reader of your purpose and review the evidence that you presented to make your case or to achieve your purpose. No new ideas should appear in the conclusion and as with the introduction it is not necessary to make reference to secondary sources in your conclusion.
SOME THINGS TO AVOID
Academic dishonesty: write in your own words but give credit whenever you have learned something from the author of a secondary source even if you have paraphrased, which you should do most often. Keep verbatim quotations to a minimum and when you use them keep them short. If it is necessary to include a verbatim quotation of more than 4 lines or 40 words it must be block-indented. Note how a block-indented quotation is referenced:
Where education is concerned, the IFIs have a debt of their own to pay back to Africa. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund should foot the bill for free primary education. In other circumstances, it would be called reparations; in present circumstances, it should be called mandatory restitution. (Lewis, 2005, p.106)
Avoid contractions, don’t use them.
Be careful of pronouns, they are promiscuous and will attach themselves to the nearest noun.
For the Greeks the gods of the Olympian family were somewhat unsatisfactory models of moral behaviour; they were, rather, archetypes of human behaviour exhibiting all of their foibles and failings. Of necessity then they looked elsewhere for their metrics of moral behaviour and found them in their concept of the citizen.
Be careful of the possessive form of the pronoun it. The possessive form of it is its, not it’s which is a contraction of it is. Do not use it’s under any circumstances and most especially when you want the former and not the latter.
Avoid concluding a paragraph with a quotation: as a general rule follow quotations with some observations of your own. Make clear to your reader why you have included a verbatim quotation from the author of a secondary source. Do not leave to the reader the writer’s responsibility of integrating quotations into the narrative of the text.
Do not “cut and paste”. Yours should be the dominant voice in the paper.
Do not include any unsigned articles in your bibliography.
Do not submit a paper that has not been edited. Your instructor should not be the first person to read your paper.
WORLD HISTORY AS403
PAPER MARKING CHECKLIST
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND IN TEXT CITATIONS
Is the bibliography in correct APA format? See: APA Style Guide.
Has all reference material been subject to peer review? It should be.
Does the bibliography have a minimum of five references?
Are there any unsigned articles? There should not be.
Are in text citations in correct APA format?
Are paraphrases and verbatim quotations introduced with a lead-in? Is the paper adequately documented? You should aim for three or four references to secondary sources per page. Avoid the overuse of a single page from a single secondary source. Avoid the overuse of a single secondary source.
INTRODUCTION/CONCLUSION
Is there a clearly stated and narrowly defined purpose for writing in the introduction?
Does the introduction include the author’s reason for writing and does the introduction offer a summary of the main ideas developed in the paper?
Does the conclusion remind the reader of the author’s purpose for writing?
Does the conclusion summarize the main ideas developed in the paper and offer a final word on the subject?
THE BODY OF THE PAPER
Is there a narrowly defined purpose for writing?
Are paragraphs introduced by topic sentences or supporting arguments?
Do paragraphs end with a conclusion? Does the conclusion demonstrate to the reader how the supporting argument developed above advances the main argument?
Are premises adequately supported with reference to secondary sources?
Does the author of a secondary source from which you have borrowed tell his or her reader how he or she knows? Secondary sources without in text citations should be avoided.
Is there a balance between narrative and analysis
Has the paper been edited carefully for spelling, grammar and sentence structure?
Are quotations and paraphrases properly cited?

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