Tips for Reading:
1) Take your time. While reading can be quite pleasurable, it will take time to understand the author's main arguments. Do not wait until the last minute to read.
2) Highlight and/or take notes. I recommend doing both. Mark the author's most important points. Keep asking yourself why did the author write what he/she wrote.
3) Make use of the author's chapters and divisions within chapters. Identify the major themes of each section.
4) Review what you read. You will not understand the author's arguments completely with just one reading. More than likely, you will need to study them several times.
Tips for Writing:
1) Content - Read the assignment ...view middle of the document...
3) Grammar and Punctuation
A) With very few exceptions, the best essays in this class will be the ones that undergo several revisions. In your revisions, check for grammatical errors, organizational problems, and the persuasiveness of your arguments.
As you write please pay attention to the following:
* When identifying the title of the book, place it in italics.
* Avoid personal pronouns like I, we, and our.
* Avoid passive voice. For example, rather than write, "The game was won by Liberty," write, "Liberty won the game." A simple rule if you are having problems with passive voice is to avoid using forms of the verb "to be."
* Do not use slang.
* Do not use contractions.
* Be careful with verb tenses. Generally in history papers you will write in the past tense since the events or issues being described happened in the past. However, when identifying your opinions or the opinions of the author you may use the present tense.
* Avoid run-on sentences and sentence fragments. Make sure you can identify the subject and the verb in each sentence.
* Make sure the words you use mean what you want them to mean. A thesaurus is an effective tool but should be used carefully. Keep a dictionary close by when writing your paper.
* Do Not Overuse Capital Letters.
* Do not trust spell-check (there, with in, women)
* Learn to use, (and not use), commas.
* Semicolons; are rarely necessary; if ever.
* Do not attempt to get around the last two rules—the ones about commas and semicolons—by
* Do not use "quotation marks" unless you are "quoting something."