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History: Cite sources

This guide supports work in History classes at Shoreline Community College

Chicago Style

Most History instructors require you to use the  Chicago Style format for writing History papers. This page provides information on Chicago citations. 

Citation Examples

Bibliographical Listings

Document or Article in a Collection or Anthology

  Paine, Thomas. Common Sense. In Our Nation’s Archive: The History of the United States in Documents, edited by Erik Bruun and Jay Crosby. New York: Black Dog and Leventhal, 1999, 123-27.

 Chapter in an Edited Work

  Hamilton, Bernard. “The Impact of the Crusades on Western Geographical Knowledge.” In Eastward Bound: Travel and Travellers, 1050-1550, edited by Rosamund Allen. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004, 15-34.

 Letter in a Published Collection

  An Expectant Mother to Eleanor Roosevelt, January 2, 1935. In America, 1900-1999: Letters of the Century, ed. Lisa Grunwald and Stephen J. Adler. New York: Dial Press, 1999.

 Work in a Series

Fleshinger, Brett. The 1912 Election and the Power of Progressivism: A Brief History with Documents. Bedford Series in History and Culture. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003.

Footnote Entries

 Document in a Collection or Anthology

15. Thomas Paine, Common Sense, in Our Nation’s Archive: The History of the United States in Documents, ed. Erik Bruun and Jay Crosby (New York: Black Dog and Leventhal, 1999), 124.

Chapter in an Edited Work

16. Bernard Hamilton, “The Impact of the Crusades on Western Geographical Knowledge,” in Eastward Bound: Travel and Travellers, 1050-1500, ed. Rosamund Allen (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004), 17-18.

Letter in a Published Collection

17. An Expectant Mother to Eleanor Roosevelt, January 2, 1935, America 1900-1999: Letters of the Century, ed. Lisa Grunwald and Stephen J. Adler (New York: Dial Press, 1999), 223.

Work in a Series

18. Brett Flehinger, The 1912 Election and the Power of Progressivism: A Brief History with Documents, Bedford Series in History and Culture (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003), 147-48.

 

Citation Examples: Bibliographical Listings

Document or Article in a Collection or Anthology

Paine, Thomas. Common Sense. In Our Nation’s Archive: The History of the United States in Documents, edited by Erik Bruun and Jay Crosby. New York: Black Dog and Leventhal, 1999, 123-27.

Chicago Style

More help with Chicago Style

History writing tips from Bowdoin College

History should be written in the past tense. Use the present tense only when speaking of other historians, or (rarely) when your subject is a text itself.

Avoid the subjunctive tense, as in "After serving as minister to France, Jefferson would go on to become the President of the United States." Instead, simply say: "After serving as minister to France, Jefferson became the President of the United States." The subjunctive tense often reveals an author who desires to anticipate something that will come later in the paper; avoid this.

Spell out numbers up to 100. Consult Turabian for the rules on using numbers in your papers.

Do not use contractions, such as "didn't"; instead, say "did not." 

No one writing at the college level should have sentence fragments, comma splices, or run-on sentences in their papers. Learn what these are and avoid them! 

Sentence fragment: A sentence fragment is a sentence that is not a sentence because it lacks a subject, verb, or modifying clause. "Jefferson, who served as minister to France during the Critical Period."

Comma splice: A comma splice occurs when two clauses are improperly joined with just a comma, as in: "Thomas Jefferson became minister to France, he went on to become President of the United States." 

Run-on sentence: A run-on sentence is a sentence that is not grammatically correct because Run-ons can be cause by a variety of problems. Usually the culprit is a sentence that is trying to do too much. If you are not sure of your long sentences, break them up into shorter, simpler ones. Here is a sample: "Jefferson, who was schooled at William and Mary and lived the life of an independent farmer and something of Renaissance man who read avidly and acquired the best private library in America."

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