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HS 272 - Early North America: Writing

Writing Resources

Juniata College Writing Center

Located in the Basement of Beeghly Library

Sun - Thursday 4 pm - 10 pm

Other Resources

Paraphrases & Summaries

Are both restatements by the writer of another person's written or spoken language. A paraphrase typically restates one to two sentences, while a summary condenses a larger section of material.

Things to be aware of:

  • Make sure you fully understand what is being paraphrased or summarized to be sure not to misrepresent your souce.
  • Do not use quotation marks unless you are directly copying the language of the original.
  • This material will still need to be cited.

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing  from OWL @ Purdue

Patrick Rael, Reading, Writing, and Researching for History: A Guide for College Students.

General History Writing Tips:

"Avoid the passive voice, as in "The bill was passed by Congress." Make active by identifying the subject of the sentence and placing it before the verb, as in "Congress passed the bill."

Choose active verbs: Good writing springs from lively verbs rather than superfluous adjectives. Choose active verbs, and avoid whenever possible dull verbs, like "was." Ask yourself, what was the subject of the sentence doing?

When writing on topics in American History, avoid personalizing your analysis by using words such as "we," "our country," and "in our culture." American history, like all others, varies enormously over time and place, and it is best to respect that variety in formal prose.

Avoid parentheses. Instead, set off parenthetical phrases in commas. If this does not work, rewrite the sentence.

There is almost no place for the verb "to feel" in a history paper. The phrase "I feel" is most often used when you are unsure of your evidence and argumentation. Any insight you believe worthy of inclusion in a paper should be stated with confidence.

Do not refer to people in the paper by using their first names alone. In the first reference to a person, use the full name and clearly identify, as in "Joe Smith, Senator from Wisconsin, argued the Republican position."

Avoid personal intrusions, such as "as stated earlier" or "as aforementioned" from your writing."

As appeared in Patrick Rael, Reading, Writing, and Researching for History: A Guide for College Students (Brunswick, ME: Bowdoin College, 2004).