A History essay is primarily an argument in favour of a point of view, but in some instances can illustrate a theme running through time. Both must be based on historical evidence, consisting of documents dating from the historical era being studied in the essay; on physical evidence such as photographs, paintings, sculptures; interior design of buildings, architecture, other artefacts and even music, – this is called primary evidence. But in the case of these two SHORT essays, you will use mostly books and journal articles written by historians who have themselves utilized this sort of evidence.

Begin by general reading in order to understand the overall situation in the historical era you are studying, then narrow your research to the specific thesis or theme. This is the only stage where you are allowed to use dictionaries and encyclopedias – even the dreaded wikipedia – you will lose marks if you cite these! They are only to give you an overview so you know where to find scholarly sources. The same rule applies for websites and blogs.

The essay structure is straightforward. Begin with an opening thesis statement contained in the first paragraph of your essay, or with a description of a theme you are illustrating. State clearly what it is you intend to prove or show. Follow this with the body of your essay, wherein you present the evidence from the sources you found on the Resources link. You must provide references for sources used, for direct quotes and for indirect quotes, or allusions to other historians’ work. In other words, give people credit for their work.

Use a 12 font. Each essay should be 800-1200 words. Do not use slang outside of direct quotations; avoid the use of parentheses; do try to write sentences which are simple and clear (unlike this one). Do not use the first person pronoun. Do try for a dispassionate tone, no matter how strong your feelings might be.

This is the outline given to me

The topic: The Quiet Revolution in Quebec: Revolution or Evolution