Department of History –

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Department of History
History 1601E (History of East Asia), 2015-2016
Guide to the Written Assignment
The written assignment is due on November 17, 2015 and is worth 5% of your final mark.
NOTE: there will be a 2% per day penalty for late papers.
Papers are to be submitted in class. Late papers are to be deposited in the drop box outside the history department office. Please do not slip them under the professor’s office door.
Electronic copies must also be submitted to (students can access by clicking on “Written Assignment,” which can be found in the “Assignments” folder in the course website).
NOTE: The written assignment, book report, and the essay are also subject to an oral review before marks are assigned. Students must keep a copy of their assignments and essays for their own records, as well as notes and drafts, and be prepared to submit them if requested.
Students must write their essays and assignments in their own words. Whenever students take an idea, or a passage from another author, they must acknowledge their debt both by using quotation marks where appropriate and by proper referencing such as footnotes or citations. Plagiarism is a major academic offense (see Scholastic Offence Policy in the Western Academic Calendar).
All required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to the commercial plagiarism detection software under license to the University for the detection of plagiarism. All papers submitted will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between The University of Western Ontario and (
The following rules pertain to the acknowledgements necessary in academic papers.
A. In using another writer’s words, you must both place the words in quotation marks and acknowledge that the words are those of another writer.
You are plagiarizing if you use a sequence of words, a sentence or a paragraph taken from other writers without acknowledging them to be theirs. Acknowledgement is indicated either by (1) mentioning the author and work from which the words are borrowed in the text of your paper; or by (2) placing a footnote number at the end of the quotation in your text, and including a correspondingly numbered footnote at the bottom of the page (or in a separate reference section at the end of your essay). This footnote should indicate author, title of the work, place and date of Publication and page number. Method (2) given above is usually preferable for academic essays because it provides the reader with more information about your sources and leaves your text uncluttered with parenthetical and tangential references. In either case words taken from another author must be enclosed in quotation marks or set off from your text by single spacing and indentation in such a way that they cannot be mistaken for your own words. Note that you cannot avoid indicating quotation simply by changing a word or phrase in a sentence or paragraph which is not your own.
B. In adopting other writer’s ideas, you must acknowledge that they are theirs.
You are plagiarizing if you adopt, summarize, or paraphrase other writers’ trains of argument, ideas or sequences of ideas without acknowledging their authorship according to the method of acknowledgement given in ‘A’ above. Since the words are your own, they need not be enclosed in quotation marks. Be certain, however, that the words you use are entirely your own; where you must use words or phrases from your source; these should be enclosed in quotation marks, as in ‘A’ above.
Clearly, it is possible for you to formulate arguments or ideas independently of another writer who has expounded the same ideas, and whom you have not read. Where you got your ideas is the important consideration here. Do not be afraid to present an argument or idea without acknowledgement to another writer, if you have arrived at it entirely independently. Acknowledge it if you have derived it from a source outside your own thinking on the subject.
In short, use of acknowledgements and, when necessary, quotation marks is necessary to distinguish clearly between what is yours and what is not. Since the rules have been explained to you, if you fail to make this distinction, your instructor very likely will do so for you, and they will be forced to regard your omission as intentional literary theft. Plagiarism is a serious offence which may result in a student’s receiving an ‘F’ in a course or, in extreme cases, in their suspension from the University.
Medical Issues:
The University recognizes that a student’s ability to meet his/her academic responsibilities may, on occasion, be impaired by medical illness. Please go to to read about the University’s policy on medical accommodation. This site provides links the necessary forms. In the event of illness, you should contact Academic Counselling as soon as possible. The Academic Counsellors will determine, in consultation with the student, whether or not accommodation should be requested. They will subsequently contact the instructors in the relevant courses about the accommodation. Once the instructor has made a decision about whether to grant an accommodation, the student should contact his/her instructors to determine a new due date for tests, assignments, and exams.
Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to Mental Health@Western, for a complete list of options about how to obtain help.
Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 661-2111 x 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation.
If you have any further questions or concerns please contact, Rebecca Dashford, Undergraduate Program Advisor, Department of History, 519-661-2111 x84962 or
An assessment of a secondary source document, i.e., write an assessment of one of the following articles that will be discussed in the tutorials (not sure of what “secondary source” means? See,
—Dorothy Ko, “The Body as Attire: The Shifting Meanings of Footbinding in Seventeenth-Century China,” Journal of Women’s History, vol. 8, No 4 (Winter 1997), pp. 8-27 [THIS ARTICLE CAN BE ACCESSED ONLINE VIA THE UWO LIBRARY CATALOGUE]
—Susan Mann, “Widows in the Kinship, Class, and Community Structures of Qing Dynasty China,” The Journal of Asian Studies 46, 1 (Feb., 1987), pp 37-56 [THIS ARTICLE CAN BE ACCESSED ONLINE THROUGH JSTOR VIA THE UWO LIBRARY CATALOGUE]
Length of the assignment:
The assignment should be 3-5 pages in length (approximately 800-1000 words), double spaced and in Times Roman 12 point font.
A word count must be included on the title page.
Although there is no formal penalty for assignments that are too long or too short, since such papers do not fall into the stipulated guidelines, they are subject to a reduced mark.
NOTE: Since this is an academic setting, it is expected that written material meet a minimum standard of literacy (i.e., grammar, spelling, writing style, etc.). Accordingly, those who are not familiar with writing essays, or those whose native language is other than English, are expected to avail themselves of the various writing skills facilities available on or off campus. One such resource is the Effective Writing Program offered by the Student Development Centre:
If you have doubts about writing style or grammar, the following website could be of help:
Resource Material
Since the articles for the assignment will be discussed in the tutorials it is expected that your analysis be put in the context of the tutorial topic.
Students may use other resource material if they wish, but they will not be penalized if they only use the textbook and the article they have picked. However, you may find that you need to use other material to support your arguments. If so, you must include citations and cite that material in your bibliography.
The assignment must conform to one of the conventional academic formats (i.e., proper citations, formatting of quotations, bibliography, etc.). The preferred format is referred to as, “Traditional Endnotes or Footnotes with Superscript Numbers (humanities),” as outlined in the following website:
See also:
NOTE: The APA (American Psychological Association) format is not acceptable for this course.
Essays without proper citations for sources will not be accepted.
Since, Rampolla, Mary Lynn A Pocket Guide to Writing in History Eighth Edition
(Boston: Bedford Martins, 2015), is a required text for this course it is expected that students follow the guidelines outlined in this book as to formatting.
What is Expected from the Written Assignment
The main objective of the assignment is to prepare the student for the research paper. Thus, if the student has problems with issues such as development of a thesis, organization of an argument, writing style, etc., they will be pointed out by the marker in this short assignment, and it is expected that the student will take these criticisms and comments into account in order to produce a more effective essay at the end of the academic year [for a guide as to how to develop a thesis see,].
The point of this assignment is not simply to reiterate what is in the article you have chosen. The point is to present one’s interpretation/understanding of the article, or an aspect of the article, and to articulate that as precisely and coherently as possible. An academic essay is not simply a list of facts, no matter how good the facts are. Therefore, the assignment should have a thesis, or area of focus. This does not necessarily take the form of an argument per se, but it does have to let the reader know what you are trying to get across in the paper.
For a guide to writing an article review, see “Critiques and book reviews” in Rampolla, Mary Lynn A Pocket Guide to Writing in History Eighth Edition (Boston: Bedford Martins, 2015), pp. 38-39
See also, “The Book Review or Article Critique” in
and, “Summary writing” in:
For a general guide to writing history essays see the required text, Rampolla, Mary Lynn A Pocket Guide to Writing in History Eighth Edition (Boston: Bedford Martins, 2015). See especially, “Evaluating secondary sources,” pp. 18-22

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