How to Do the 1st Choice for Writing

What Do You Read Carefully and Write About?. 1

What Are Requirements for Citation for Your Paper?. 2

What Is Essential Background for Success with These Primaries?. 3

What Is the Rubric Used to Measure Your Content and Your Following the 5 Good Habits for Evidence and How Does It Work?. 3

How Does Grading on the Paper Work?. 3

If You Want to Know Why We Use Endnotes. 3

If You Quote (and You Do Not Have to) - Brain Trick for Quoting and Avoiding Quotation Humiliation. 4


What Do You Read Carefully and Write About?

Caution: You are trying to teach history accurately to someone like yourself. You are not collecting stuff and quoting from it. You are figuring this out in a simple way, explaining it briefly, and citing so anyone can see your proof for what you say.

What are the parts of what you write?

1.       1st page: Your paper and its footnotes (Use Microsoft Word or another program that can neatly do footnotes for you.)
Tip: The next heading provides the shortened citation for the primaries. You must have a correct bibliography to use the short form of citation.

2.       2nd page: Your Bibliography listing in correct format the textbook and each of the 3 primaries.
Tip: The Chicago Manual of Style Cheatsheet shows you the format for the textbook and tells you how to do the format for each of the primaries.

What do you read?

In the textbook, use these pages:

·         187 on the Monroe Doctrine

·         456, 460 on the Teller Amendment to Declaration of War in the Spanish-American War

·         460-461 on the Platt Amendment to an Army Appropriations and a treaty with Cuba (Also look at 572 so you understand how the United States will later act.)

In the folder below this link, read, use, and cite each of the 3 primary sources in the folder under the next heading. Each primary has search words to help you focus. Caution: Click on the document and use those search words.

Use no other pages or sources–and certainly not your memory.

What do you write about?

Background of the question: Both the Monroe Doctrine and the Platt Amendment one of 100 Milestone Documents at Our Documents (URL: Although not a milestone document, the Teller Amendment shows a different direction for America.

Your Question: What does a freshman college history student need to know about America’s policy toward its neighbors as revealed by these three documents?

FYI: You have to reveal that you understand this fully, including the context of the time the document was written. As a prof I admired greatly put it, “You have to understand everything. You do not have to write everything. To teach honorably, you must select carefully what you teach.”

Do you provide a heading?

No. Use the file provided as is so that your paper will not exceed 1 page. You do not add a heading. You do type your first and last name on your paper and the CRN number.


Covered under the next heading.


With the format below, the paper and the footnotes must be less than 1 page. Do not have your paper go over 1 printed page. Caution: do not change the font, margins, or double spacing.


Use the preformatted file. Do not change any of the settings:

·         Double-spaced.

·         11 point Calibri font.

·         Margins -1” on the left and .5” on the right

The pre-formatted file is an .rtf file (Rich Text Format). You may work in that file or you may save it to another file type that Turnitin accepts. Turnitin accepts these types of files:

·         A Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx)

·         An Adobe file (.pdf)

·         An Open Office document (.odt)

General requirements?

1.       Type in a word processor that automatically does footnotes for you and that can run spell and grammar checking.

2.       Print it and proof it.
(To proof = to compare side by side paper and source to be sure page numbers and facts and names and quotations and everything is correct.)

Where do you submit it?

In Blackboard, in the Turnitin Assignment at the bottom of this folder. You will not be able to see that Turnitin Assignment until you have a grade of 2 for the Evidence Prerequisites to Submit the Paper. If you have done both Evidence Quiz 1 and Evidence Quiz 2 and do not have that grade of 2, please email me at

What is the rubric used to grade this and all writing?

Click here for more on the rubric and how to use it to plan your work and when your work is graded.


What Are Requirements for Citation for Your Paper?

To use the shorten citations provided below, you must provide a Bibliography listing the 3 primaries and the textbook. Caution: Use Microsoft Word to do footnotes automatically.

What You Want to Cite

How You Would Cite Each Source in Your Shortened Citations as a Footnote

If the fact is from the textbook The Brief American Pageant

If your fact is from page 571 of the textbook, use this in your footnote.

Kennedy, Cohen, and Piehl, American Pageant, 571.

If the fact is the Monroe Doctrine

If your fact is from this printable webpage, then notice the page number. If your fact is from the 2nd page of this source, use this in your footnote.

Monroe, Monroe Doctrine, 2.

If the fact is from the Teller Amendment

If your fact is from this 1-page webpage, use this in your footnote.

Teller, Amendment to Declaration of War, 1.

If the fact is from the Platt Amendment

If your fact is from this 1-page webpage, use this in your footnote.

Platt, Amendment to an Army Appropriations and a treaty with Cuba, 1.

Caution: You are to use the document transcript, not the document info pages which provide background information.

Click here If You Want to Know Why We Use These Shortened Citations (This link goes to the bottom of this webpage.)

What Is Essential Background for Success with These Primaries?

Let go of your biases and assumptions. Study the map as though you were alive then and your future was at stake. Use the link at the top of the folder and ground yourself in math.

Tip: If you never looked at the links about these links when you did your Course Plan, do it now. This link defines the words primary and secondary history or covers History Department’s requirements for all instructors. Save yourself from unnecessarily low grades by understanding these words and these realities.

What Is the Rubric Used to Measure Your Content and Your Following the 5 Good Habits for Evidence and How Does It Work?

What is a rubric? Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defines a rubric as “a guide listing specific criteria for grading or scoring academic papers, projects, or tests.” Frequently, rubrics are in a table:

·         With rows for each criteria (such as this one with criteria for Reading FOR Evidence, Writing WITH Evidence, Following Directions for Evidence, and Mechanics)

·         With columns for each grade level (such as this one with columns for “F” through “A.”

Click here for an explanation of the rubric and how to use it as a grader or as someone graded. (This is also available in several parts of the course including in Evidence Quiz 4.)

How Does Grading on the Paper Work?

For this assignment, you look at the graded rubric and the corresponding marks on your paper. You fill out the form at the bottom of the rubric identifying which of the 5 Good Habits for Evidence that you missed. After you do that, I enter the grade at My Grades. The point value is @ 50 points for content and @ 50 points for following all 5 Good Habits for Evidence

If You Want to Know Why We Use Endnotes

The reasons are:

1.       All of your written assignments are required to be brief. (Brief is harder, but generally makes better thinking.) If you used traditional MLA citation which is written inline (within your lines of text), you would use up your word count much faster.

2.       History’s standard, the Chicago Manual of Style, provides rigorous citation, but not inline. Instead, it uses endnotes or footnotes to provide citation.

In other words, citation is there but it is not in the way of communication of the history. The citation is not written within your lines of text because of how historians write about history.

·         They want people to be able to check for a source if the reader does not know it and to skip the source if they already familiar with the evidence. (Unlike the other standards for citations, readers can ignore citation or quickly find the source for a specific fact by looking for a footnote with a specific number.)

·         They are helping people understand the past, not just providing a collection of facts.

·         That is your job as well. Why? When you try to help someone understand history, you start to understand it yourself. If you want to understand something, try to teach it.

There is one other benefit: only Chicago Manual of Style and its notes about evidence (either footnotes or endnotes) let a person prepare a document with notes, copy it, and then delete all the notes. Example: a 1-page memo for a boss.


3.       In this class, you place your citation in footnotes and provide a bibliography so that the citation is brief, but clear. FYI: With this 1-page paper, I ask you to use footnotes instead of endnotes because it is easier to tell when you are exceeding the maximum amount of text.

If You Quote (and You Do Not Have to) - Brain Trick for Quoting and Avoiding Quotation Humiliation

Click here for additional tips.

The rules for showing what you have taken out (…) of the author’s words or put in ([ ]) are complex and for most of us they are not worth learning.


This brain trick lets you be accurate but avoid learning those rules:

  1. Choose 3 to 6 words to quote and change nothing (not an ing or an ed, not a comma, nothing) between the first and the last word.

  2. Put abefore the first word and a after the last word.

  3. Place those words with the “ ”within your sentence.


  1. If something sounds awkward about your sentences, then change your own words—the only words you have a right to change.


  1. Look at all of the words in the source. Be sure the meaning of the source remains in your quotation.





Copyright C. J. Bibus, Ed.D. 2003-2018


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