Guide to Essay Writing and Research

Guide to Essay Writing and Research
Four steps of Essay Writing
The purpose of an Essay is to demonstrate the validity of a point of view. This point of view should be derived from the study of a reasonable amount of evidence that is subjected to analysis. Thus, a good paper is the result of a combination of appropriate research, sound judgement, good analysis and clear and coherent writing.
There are four distinct steps to follow in order to write a good paper. These are:
• defining appropriately the problem;
• carrying out the research;
• analysing the evidence;
• writing the paper.

Defining the Problem
• If the subject has not been assigned: The first thing to do is to spend some time to formulate clearly a research topic and question. The greatest problem that students have is that they often define a research topic that is either too broad, or far too narrow for the amount of time and space they have available to write their paper. Ask yourself some key questions:
o Is the issue relevant to your course?
o to the topics studied in class?
o Will there be sufficient documentation available?
o Does the topic lead you to an easy formulation of a research question and, eventually, to a thesis/point of view?
Before you proceed, you will have to meet with me to have your topic approved.
• If the subject has been assigned: Before rushing to the Library, spend some time thinking about the problem/issue you have to write about. Collect your thoughts on this subject:
o Are there aspects that you have studied in class and which could be useful to you?
o What is precisely involved in the question you are asked to deal with?
o Do you have already any ideas about your topic?
o Where do these ideas come from?
o Why did you choose this subject?
o Do you have biases that will prove insurmountable?
o Are there elements of the problem that would require proper definition?
Only after you have answered these questions appropriately can your proceed effectively to the second stage.

The Research
Once you have properly defined your subject you are ready to carry out your research. The first step will be to construct an appropriate bibliography. This aspect is dealt with separately in the Notes on Research; please refer to them.
The purpose of research is to inform you of the range of ideas and opinions, as well as of the facts, that have been raised on your subject, and thus to provide you with a factual base to conduct your argument. It is essentially objective in nature since as many points of view and facts as possible and reasonable must be consulted. Read your sources carefully. Read them twice, if necessary; you must make certain that you have a full understanding of the views and information provided by your authors.
Your first reading should be rapid: carefully consult the Table of Contents, the Index; read the information on the jacket of the book; examine the Introduction and the Conclusion of the book. These provide invaluable clues as to the views and the findings of your source; so do the beginning and the end of each of the chapters. Your first reading is to get a sense of the general thesis of the author and to identify the parts that are more relevant to your subject, and consequently earmarked for more elaborate examination.
Your second reading should be very specific: its purpose is to allow you to extract the fine points of the demonstration and to provide you with concrete factual information and arguments that you will need. Write down this information and views very carefully and register precisely where it was found, not forgetting to note the page where the information was found. Transform the author’s ideas into your own words immediately. Work out an adequate note taking system. Consult me if you do not know how to proceed effectively. Do this for all of your sources.

The Analysis
The information gathered throughout your research must now be submitted to analysis. This is the phase that is most critical; yet, this is where so many students show deficiencies. Too often, students start their paper too late. They cannot do their paper without research, so this part must be done. The paper must be written as well, so this also must be done. The consequence of a late start is usually that the analysis phase is virtually skipped over, with the resulting effects of incoherence, contradiction, superficiality, misrepresentation and scores of other ills. For the most part, the paper of such students becomes a clumsy stringing together of the views of their sources; this rarely achieves coherence, aside from demonstrating a complete lack of originality.
The opinions and the data you have gathered must be submitted to analysis. Among your sources, are there facts and points of view over which there is general agreement? If you have researched broadly, consulted authors from different schools of thought, it is of great interest to examine where they are in full agreement. This can provide you with a solid foundation over which there should not be any major dispute. Be careful; perhaps the unanimity you now encounter is the result of lack of broad research! Are there points of view that can be reconciled? It is amazing how easy this can be sometimes. At times, authors are stubborn about petty questions that a third party can resolve satisfactorily. However well you may note the elements in common or reconcile some points of view, there will remain large areas of disagreement between your sources in the end. This is where you must be very careful. Ask yourself some of the following questions: do all the points argued seem of equal validity? Are there contentions that seem better supported by evidence? Have your authors all made clear their bias? Hiding a bias is often the most insidious of defects in a piece of work. Have all the essential elements of a question been handled appropriately? Are there questions that remain unanswered? Are you able to honestly and objectively summarize the views of each of your authors? Why do you favour a particular point of view by an author? Could it be because you have a clear bias? Remember that we are always quick to see (and condemn) the bias of others but rarely see it in ourselves...
In the process of analysis, you will soon find that facts do not speak for themselves; it is up to you to arrange them in some fashion so that they acquire meaning. Remember that evidence only exists when put against some particular contention. Otherwise, your facts are just an incoherent mass.
The process of defining, researching and analysing will lead you to formulate a thesis. You are now ready to write your paper.

Writing the Paper:
Never lose sight of the fact that the purpose of your paper is to sustain a given stand and to raise all available arguments (factual or logical) to demonstrate its validity. Remain true to your purpose and do not deviate from your task. Disregard all elements not crucial to the demonstration of your thesis. Not adhering to your purpose is one of the most frequent defects of papers.
Your paper must clearly contain three parts: the introduction, the main body and the conclusion.
• The Introduction: This is the first thing your reader will look at. Spend some time on it. First impressions are difficult to break! Do not put your reader to sleep! Do not go back to the Flood! Do not complicate a simple question! Be clear, concise and to the point. An Introduction serves three purposes
a) to briefly outline/define your research problem;
b) to state your thesis clearly (without writing inelegantly “my thesis is that...”);
c) a listing/justification of the factors/periods you intend to examine to demonstrate the validity of your thesis.
Given the length of your paper, your introduction should not exceed one page. Aside from lack of proper thesis, the main defect of many Introductions is that arguments are made. This is not the place for it; there is a difference between indicating to your reader the areas you will explore to demonstrate your thesis and making arguments. Your introduction should be shown to me at least one week before the paper must be submitted.
• The Main Body of your Paper: In this part you present all of the arguments to support your thesis and the relevant data to prove its validity. Arrange your arguments logically. Show that you have really organized your material so as to convince the reader. Make sure your arguments flow well, that your paragraphs have unity and that they are well linked together. This is the time to apply the wonderful techniques learned in your English classes! At all times remain coherent and maintain a professional tone. Avoid at all costs excesses of language. Show respect for your authors and be fair in the rendering of their ideas. Be forceful without being obnoxious. Above all, adhere to your purpose and always keep in mind what that purpose is! Follow the plan you have outlined in your Introduction.

• The conclusion: This is the place to briefly recapitulate your findings. No new elements should be introduced. Make sure you do not contradict the main body of the paper or disregard major areas discussed. In your conclusion, you may enlarge the debate if it seems relevant and important! Work on this conclusion! It is your last chance to make your thesis understood...

Guide to Essay Writing and Research
Essay Writing Tips
1. Your paper must be typewritten. Handwritten papers are not accepted anymore. Type your paper double-spaced, on only one side of the page. Leave good margins all around; this is so your paper will not look cluttered and ample space will exist for your teacher to write his comments. Number your pages consecutively. Use a good font (Ariel, Times New Roman, Courier, Maiandra GD or Comic sans MS; an excellent font for titles is Algerian and for quotations is Gaugy old style Italic). Use size 12 for letters. Make sure your printer is printing in such a manner as it will not take a toll on your reader’s eyes. This is especially the case for all of you who still use dot matrix technology. Use the equipment put at your disposal by the College if you are not well equipped yourself.
2. Always keep a copy of your Paper. If ever your paper was to be lost, for whatever reason, by your Instructor, then you could produce another one without problem. It is your responsibility to do so. As well, keep all notes you may have taken as well as photocopies of the material you used; as well, keep early drafts of your Paper. Any or all of these may be required by your Instructor. Be aware that sometimes these notes, photocopies and drafts are important to ascertain that Plagiarism has not taken place.
3. Always include a title page for your Paper (and all other work for that matter!). Your title page should contain: the title of your Paper, the name of the Instructor to whom it is submitted, the date of submission (not the date when it was supposed to have been submitted!), your name and the course number. Present a professional looking Paper! For a sample title page, see at the end of this package.
4. Always place the bibliography at the end of your Paper. List all of your sources in alphabetical order following the accepted academic norms as defined in the College’s Notes on Scholarly Style. Do not pad your bibliography in a vain attempt to seem impressive! Remember that you are responsible for knowing all of the information that is included in the works you listed in your bibliography.
5. Never use the personal form. It is never impressive for your reader to see I think... or it is my opinion in your Paper. Check carefully your scholarly sources, you will see that they do not use the personal form except perhaps in the preface. Using the personal form is a sign of conceit and/or of a poor writing style. Avoid it completely.
6. Always seek to appear reasonable, responsible and professional. Maintain the proper academic tone. This does not mean that you should be boring. It does mean that you avoid excesses of language, judgement and length. You can care about an issue without resorting to emotional appeals. Before you insult authors (“the idiot never saw that...”) who have spent a lifetime studying an issue remember who you really are... Always display respect and fairness for the views of others. In the end, it will make you more convincing. Do not interject personal opinions that are based solely on value judgements or ideological grounds. Analyse and follow the evidence.
7. Stop after every paragraph and ask yourself the following questions: what was the point of this paragraph? Is it clear? Is there unity in this paragraph? Was it necessary to my thesis or did I deviate from the point and fail to adhere to my purpose? Was the point made in this paragraph well linked to the preceding paragraph? Does it prepare the reader for the following paragraph? If you cannot answer these questions appropriately then redraft the paragraph until such time as it serves a purpose that is acceptable.
8. If you include charts, tables, graphs, pictures, maps, etc., make sure that they actually contribute something quite clearly to your thesis. Do not seek to merely decorate your Paper! If you provide the type of material listed above, then analyse it. Do not let the reader interpret these alone as the reader may see in them something quite different from you, or fail to see that which you wish to convey. Graphs, tables, charts, etc., should always have a subject heading or title and the source should always be clearly identified.
9. Your paper should be in the 6-8 pages range, not counting the Title Page and the Bibliography. Long papers are often not particularly impressive. They are frequently beside the point or they show an inability to summarize material and display judgement. Excessively short papers, on the other hand, often show a lack of research and are a sign of superficiality. Please do not cheat by changing font and line spacing, or use other devices well within the grasp of even the most basic computer user.
10. Footnotes (or endnotes) are an endless source of problems. Make sure that your notes/citations are well made. Your note (citation) should always indicate the name of the author, the title of the work cited, and the page where the information was found. Make sure that this information is accurate. Such information will be verified. Nothing destroys your credibility faster than an inaccurate citation/reference. Lack of citations, or incorrect citations, are often the sign of a plagiarized paper. A citation (note) should always be made when one of the following occurs:
• when you are quoting directly an author. In such a case, use quotation marks and indent if the quotation is more than three lines long. If indented, use only single space for your quotation.
• when you are directly borrowing an argument or an idea from an author. Do not pretend that something comes from you if you have borrowed that idea from one of your sources.
• when you provide some specific fact or information, not commonly known, which you have found in a source in the course of your research. If something is found in many sources, and is not challenged anywhere, assume that it is commonly known and need not be cited.
• when you wish to add supplementary information that is not vital to your argument but contributes something to its understanding.
• If in doubt as to whether or not to make a note, it is better to err on the side of caution and thus provide the citation.
11. Your notes/citations should be placed at the bottom of the page. Your word processing program will do this automatically for you (for Microsoft WORD follow this sequence to make a footnote: Insert/Reference/Footnote). If making endnotes, place them before the Bibliography on a separate sheet entitled Endnotes.
12. A research paper without references is unacceptable and will automatically be given a mark of zero. A research paper where you have failed to provide some references will be assigned a failing grade.
13. Consult very carefully, in the package, the Notes on Essay Editing and Plagiarism. When you submit a Paper to me, it is understood that you know and accept the content of the “Plan d’йtude” of the course, the Worksheet and the Essay Writingpackage. Ignorance is no excuse. It is your responsibility to read the material put at your disposal. If in doubt, come to consult with me.
14. No serious research paper can be written without consulting at least four to six relevant specialized/scholarly sources/authors. A specialized/scholarly source is one written by a professional historian and published by an academic house (or a scholarly journal). It is specialized in the sense that it is written specifically, and solely, on your subject. It is thus not a work of a general nature. It excludes encyclopedias, general nature, magazines or newspapers. These latter sources of information (called popular sources) are rarely substantial enough, frequently not written by specialists of the subject, and, more often than not, have too little of serious discussion of your issue to warrant investing your time in reading them. Still, if you know nothing about a subject, you must start with general nature as to acquire a basic competence before starting the serious work. The general nature need not be put in your bibliography, unless they were quoted or cited explicitly. In many respects, this would be strange... It is important that you recognize “specialized/scholarly” sources for three reasons:
• so as to avoid wasting your time reading generalities from which you would not learn anything of substance;
• so as to avoid reading the works of non-specialists whose theories have not been subjected to academic scrutiny;
• so as to avoid reading the work of so-called “revisionist” authors whose purpose in life is to flog some idea usually rejected by serious academics.
Scholarly works will have been written by an author associated with a serious academic institution (University or College) and it will say so on the piece of work; the work will be published by a recognized academic printer; it will contain all of the trappings of an academic piece of work, including serious footnoting/citations and a very extensive academic bibliography. There often will be a discussion of the literature (historiography) on the subjec. Check the Preface where another “expert” in the field will likely discuss the work and the list of credentials (professional associations, other works published, scholarships and awards received etc.). Be weary of bogus historical institutes that are never from around here and under which holocaust deniers frequently hide (fortunately that is not the case usually in Canadian/Quebec history).
15. In choosing your sources of information make sure that you are provided with a representative range of facts and opinions. If all of your sources are saying the same thing, it may be that there is agreement on this point; or it may reflect that you have not researched broadly enough. An honest researcher deliberately searches out conflicting views in order to assess all possibilities. Always show the greatest of fairness and respect for all of your authors. Unless there is compelling reason to do so, never show disdain for them.

16. Make sure that you know how to distinguish a fact from an opinion. By its nature, a fact is indisputable while an opinion is a conclusion that is reached after an analysis of facts; you may find an opinion well founded but it can always be disputed and challenged in some fashion by somebody. Thus, if it can be disputed, that is an opinion. The most solid evidence is always made up of facts.
17. Avoid arguments by authorities. This type of argument is one where you rely solely on the opinion of somebody else (however well known!) to support your point of view. The “facts” are supposed to be such as you state because “such and such” a person said so! While it is rarely unfavorable to have the authorities on your side (rather than against you!) remember that it is the facts that will convince your reader.
18. Be careful with old sources of information. A frequent misconception of students in history is that the closer the observer (or the historian) was to the event, the more the person must know about it and the more trustworthy, as a result, the source becomes. This is frequently not true for a variety of reasons. History, like other disciplines, is a science where the passage of time has led to an accumulation of knowledge and new perspectives; nobody would think to look into a 1920 text of physics to find answers; one would assume that new knowledge has superseded the information provided in the old text. The same is true in history with the added factor that hindsight makes for 20/20 vision! As a rule, the more current the text, the more it is likely to include all of the latest findings and to provide useful insights; certainly, the more it is likely to approach the issue in a manner that answers the current preoccupations. However, there were sometimes brilliant, and insightful, pieces written in the past and from which you can still profit. So, be critical, newer does not mean necessarily better. A knowledge of how a research question has evolved (this is called in history the field of historiography) is often essential to the understanding of current points of view. Still, do not use anything written before 1960 without consulting me first.
19. Carefully consult the Essay Evaluation section appended to this text; it provides you with clues as to what I am looking for when I correct your paper.
20. Make sure that your paper is delivered to me personally. Do not entrust it to others. It is your responsibility to see that it gets to me. Do not leave it under doors. If I am not there when you bring it to me, have it signed by a Faculty member on the page where you wrote your conclusion; the date and the time should be indicated. Once it is signed bring it to me at the earliest opportunity; normally this would be the next morning.
21. There is always a penalty when you are late. Consult the course outline on this subject. At a minimum, a penalty of 1% per day that you are late will be imposed. Furthermore, no paper will be accepted once the papers have been returned to class. In any case, papers may not be accepted once the period designated at the College as dead week has arrived. If there is a cause majeure or prior arrangements have been made with me, the penalties do not apply.
22. When writing a text in history, it is customary to keep it in the past tense. It simply does not work well to put it in the present tense.
23. If there is any discrepancy in the rules outlined here and those suggested by other sources (including Notes on Scholarly Style), follow this Guide.
Works you may consult to further your understanding of the subject of writing a history paper:
• BENJAMIN, Jules R., A Student’s Guide to History, New York, St Martin’s Press, Sixth edition, 1994, 164p.
• CASH, Phyllis, How to Develop and Write a Research Paper, New York, ARCO, 1988, 96p.
• LETOURNEAU, Jocelyn, Le Coffre а outils du chercheur dйbutant. Guide d’initiation au travail intellectuel, Toronto, Oxford, 1989, 227p. This is one of the best texts.
• MACE, Gordon, Guide d’йlaboration d’un projet de recherche, Quйbec, Presses de l’Universitй Laval, 1988, 119p.
• MARIUS, Richard, A Short Guide to Writing about History, Scott, Foresman and Company, 1989, 261p.
These texts are available in the Library or in my office. Do not hesitate to consult them
Essay Evaluation Scheme
Your term paper will be evaluated out of 100 on a sheet designed specifically for that purpose. You will receive this sheet, along with your term paper and my comments some weeks after the papers have been submitted.

Three aspects will be equally assessed in judging your paper. These are:
1. Presentation and Writing (33%);
2. Research (33%);
3. the quality of the argument conducted (34%).
The following lists what each part contains:
• Writing and Presentation: Title page well made; general appearance of your Paper; adherence to the rules set out in my Guide for Essay Writing and in the Notes on Scholarly Style; the Introduction: problem well defined, thesis outlined clearly and briefly, factors to be examined well outlined, suitable length; the Conclusion: arguments well summarized; Writing: grammar, spelling, punctuation, use of precise, exact language; clear, elegant sentences, good flow between paragraphs; maintaining the right tone; unity in paragraphs.
• The Research: Bibliography is well made, contains the best sources on the subject; footnotes are well made and accurate; evidence is presented when necessary; use and understanding of the sources; reliance on a wide variety of sources; extensiveness and accuracy of information; use and appropriateness of tables, charts, graphs etc...; good integration of class and office material; consultation with the teacher.
• The arguments: Do you follow a good plan? Is there a logical and coherent flow; are all relevant aspects included; is the argument complete, taken to its conclusion; appropriate weight given to the arguments, showing judgement; adhering to your purpose; applying critical thinking; not too descriptive, superficial, repetitive or contradictory; convincing and compelling.
Plagiarism and Essay Editing
These notes are intended to clarify point 13 of Essay Writing Tips
To plagiarize is to make the work of others appear as your own. It is essentially dishonest in nature. Because of the dishonesty involved, the penalty is a mark of zero for the Paper, with the likely result of failure in the course. Under no circumstances will the student be allowed to rewrite the paper. The student will also be reported to the Associate Dean who will decide if the case merits to be pursued further.
Essay Editing: Three types can be distinguished:

1. A student who merely aligns excessively long or frequent quotations from one or more sources and has, consequently, contributed too little personally to the writing and analysis of the Paper.
2. A student who is satisfied with summarizing one or more sources (however good!), following faithfully and slavishly these authors and where the personal contribution of the student is judged too limited.
3. A student who uses direct quotes but without quotation marks, while still indicating in footnotes and bibliography where these “ideas” were from.
In any of the above cases, the student has not contributed sufficiently personally to receive a good mark. In the cases of Essay Editing, and where it is clear that no dishonesty was intended, the penalty shall invariably be a mark below 60% since the student is deemed to have merely edited the Paper and not really written enough of it. The specific mark assigned will be based on the gravity of the situation. It is important, as well, that it be clear that dishonesty was not intended; thus the sources must be clearly indicated, otherwise it will be deemed that you were trying to mislead your reader. Note that the distinction made here in the type #3 of Essay Editing is a personal one and many others would consider that this is a case of Plagiarism.
You must learn to write a Paper in a personal way. Authors will suggest ideas and evidence to you but you must learn to render all this material in your own words, following your own plan, your own analysis of the situation. Often, Plagiarism or Essay Editing are the result of ignorance, of writing papers at the last minute, only to realize suddenly that the task is beyond the capabilities of the moment and being tempted by an easy way out. Another source for it, is when the student is working, again at the last minute and in the dead of night, with all books spread on the table conducting research, analysis and writing all in one motion. Without realizing it, you are quoting without quotation marks, you are slavishly following one or two authors, you let others do your work. If such is your working method, you are bound to be “copying” the ideas, the style and the organization of the material of your sources.

Remember that a single sentence quoting directly an author, without quotation marks and a footnote, is sufficient to constitute Plagiarism and earn you a mark of zero in your Paper. A single sentence quoting directly an author, without quotation marks but with a footnote, constitutes Essay Editing and will earn you automatically a failing mark.

When in doubt, come to see me; this is always a wise move.

Guide to Essay Writing and Research
Notes on Research and Bibliographical Work
• Introduction
• Technology put at your disposal
• Books
• Scholarly Journals
• Statistical Material
• Biographies
• Current Affairs
• Government Documents
• Note on the Library

The part of your Paper that should take you the longest to do is the research. Without proper research you cannot achieve good results, regardless of your ability to write well! Your reader will soon be able to tell that you have nothing of significance to say, that you know virtually nothing about the subject.
Given the importance of this phase of your Paper, start early before everybody has raided our Library (and that of McGill, Concordia, etc.) seeking the same material as you and before the pressure of writing other papers (or exams) becomes overwhelming. Nine weeks always seems to be a long time to write a paper, but you will soon realise that it descends on you in no time at all! A subject cannot be properly researched and analysed, then a paper written in one weekend. If you got away with this before, it is unlikely you will be successful with this “method” at College and University.
Your sources of information should be varied and specialized. A specialized source in one written by a professional historian who is an expert on your subject. The source has to be written specifically on your subject or, alternatively, on your period with an elaborate discussion of your issue. Consequently, this excludes encyclopaedias, general histories, newspaper articles and material not written by a specialist historian directed at the general histories. These “general” sources may be used as general historiesbefore you start your research; they will give you an idea of the kind of information you will be seeking and help you formulate more precisely your research question and hypotheses.
If the subject lends itself to it, try to use at least one primary source. Such a source is an original document (often printed), written by a contemporary of the events you will be studying; the views of such an informant have not been distilled by the analysis of an historian. At the College level, you should start to formulate your answers without going solely through secondhand information.
Our Library is quite adequate for serious research in the fields of Canadian/Quebec histories provided you are serious in looking for good sources of information and you start early enough. Before you decide that there is nothing available, likely because you cannot find anything, consult with the Library staff who will be delighted to help you in your search. Alternatively, come to see me.

Technology put at your disposal in the Library:
There has been an astounding revolution in the library field in the last ten years; a good deal of this has been the result of the introduction of a variety of new technologies and tools which libraries now put at the disposal of their users. It is not my purpose to describe these new tools as they evolve so rapidly that, no sooner would I describe them that they will be superseded!
When compiling your bibliography, consult with the Library staff to use the various indexes that we have on CD-ROM. We have on-line connections to McGill and Concordia libraries, access to the holdings of a vast network of other institutions, possibilities to download material from a variety of sources (including the Internet), etc.
Unfortunately, the material that can be reached through the new technology varies in quantity and quality according to the subject you are dealing with. The more international a subject, the more it will be of great help to you. In Canadian history, and especially in Quebec history, it is of a more limited use so that the more traditional methods of bibliographical research, more often than not, will have to be applied. The following few pages describe ways, means and processes that should be followed.

The easiest to find are good books. Our Catalogue is fully computerised and the system is easy to use. Yet, it is amazing how much more material some students can find using the same tools as their classmates. In large part that is because they know more about their subject than the others. The more you know about something, the more you increase your chances of finding material about it. So the first thing to do is to inform yourself about your subject (hence the use of encyclopaedias, general histories...) so that you can do a wider search in our Library catalogue.
When you have found a source that seems to be first rate, consult its bibliography and the table of contents; they will suggest other avenues to pursue your investigation. If there is no bibliography in your “first rate source” that is a good sign that it is not appropriate for you to use! When you have gathered a few books in this fashion, check to see if there have been book reviews made of them. Consult the Book Review Digest or Index. You may go directly to the Canadian Historical Review and/or to the Revue d’histoire de l’Amйrique franзaise; both have indexes of their own and you will be able to ascertain rapidly how the book was received by the scholarly journals. As a rule, it takes one to two years for a book to be reviewed in Canada in the periodicals mentioned above.
Another good source of information on the quality of the author/book you have found is to check it out in the following:
• Paul STEVENS, and J.L. GRANATSTEIN, A Reader’s Guide to Canadian History. Vol. 1. Beginning to Confederation, 1982, 253p. Vol. 2. Confederation to the Present, 1982, 328p. There are periodic editions of this work. You will find other similar volumes in the Reference section.

Scholarly Journals:
Do not underestimate the usefulness of these periodicals. Authors often summarize their latest findings and views in a short article written in one of the many scholarly journals. If you do not use these periodicals, you cut yourself off from a major source of information, sometimes the only source of information that exists on your subject.
The Library has a large collection of scholarly journals that are of great use for Canada/Quebec subjects. Many of these are indexed in a variety of places (consult the Library staff on this) and some make indexes of their own periodically.
Most useful Canada/Quebec scholarly journals held in our Library:
• Acadiensis: as the name implies, this is about Atlantic Canada; it has excellent historiographical articles.
• American Review of Canadian Studies: discusses a variety of subjects from literature, to politics and history. Articles are written by American University professors who teach and specialize in Canadian subjects.
• B.C. Studies: All subjects with a British Columbia focus. There is a great deal of history included; especially strong on immigration and Asians.
• Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science: one of Canada’s oldest journal, now defunct. Contained much of interest in economic history and on Constitutional aspects.
• Canadian Journal of Political Science: continues the preceding journal but deals exclusively with political subjects.
• Canadian Catholic Historical Association, Reports: has a great variety of subjects, all with a religious angle. A gold mine for Quebec history. The Reports have two separate sections, one in French and one in English. Check them both as the articles are not the same.
• Canadian Ethnic Studies: has very interesting articles on the history of immigration in Canada and on minority groups. This Journal is at the forefront of the new social history being written in Canada. This is a periodical useful for many of the subjects that I assign.
• Canadian Historical Association, Reports (or Papers): these are the proceedings of the annual meeting of the Canadian Historical Society. The papers submitted span a very wide spectrum, including non Canadian subjects. Much of interest here.
• Canadian Historical Review: this is Canada’s oldest surviving historical journal. It is indexed separately thus easy to use. Every imaginable subject has been dealt with. Become familiar with this periodical as no serious Canadian History student can ignore this one.
• Canadian Public Policy: has many articles on political, constitutional and linguistic issues in Canada. This could be useful for many of your other classes as well.
• Canadian Public Administration: similar to the one immediately above.
• Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology: has some articles on aspects of social, ethnic and cultural history.
• Canadian Studies on Nationalism: that we had a journal entirely devoted to this subject speaks volumes about Canada. Of great interest for aspects of Quebec history. (Note: the Library does not hold this Journal anymore)
• Culture: this was a bilingual journal, with articles written in French primarily. Broad number of subjects were discussed. Of far wider use than its title would suggest.
• Dalhousie Review: this is one of Canada’s oldest periodicals. Dominated by articles on literature; however, articles of great interest to the student of history are printed from time to time. Strong on Maritimes’ history.
• Journal of Canadian Studies: has many articles of interest to history students. Lively and provocative in many respects. Has entire issues devoted to a single subject with many specialists contributing. Never neglect this one. Keeps a very serious eye on Quebec. This is a bilingual periodical with about 20% of articles written in French.
• Ontario History: the title is self explanatory.
• Ottawa University Review (Revue de l’Universitй d’Ottawa): publishes a wide variety of articles, many of which are of interest to the Canadian/Quebec history student. Has many articles on language issues, especially about the history of French minorities throughout Canada.
• Queen’s Quarterly: another venerable journal in Canada. Wide variety of subjects including history. A good deal on various aspects of Quebec.
• Recherches sociographiques: more than a sociological journal, this is a journal about Quebec. Has much of interest to the Quebec history student. All articles are in French.
• Relations Industrielles: a bilingual periodical, primarily written in French. Has a good deal of material on Canada/Quebec labour history.
• Revue d’histoire de l’Amйrique franзaise: This is Quйbec’s premier historical periodical. This journal is of a quality matched only by the Canadian Historical Review and Canadian Ethnic Studies. If you are working on an aspect of Quebec history, this is a must for you. Printed in French.
• Royal Society of Canada, Transactions: eminent association of Canada that publishes articles in both of Canada’s official languages on a variety of subjects.
• Saskatchewan History: Has a good deal of material on Native issues, the Prairies and Riel. These are fairly standard subjects in Canadian history.
• Social History (Histoire Sociale): great variety of subjects, at times a little eclectic. Published in both languages.
• Transactions of the Historical Society of Manitoba: Prairie history for the most part.
The difficulty with scholarly journals is that the material is very scattered and relevant articles are sometimes difficult to find; after all, they are not listed in the Library catalogue. For the journals that are individually indexed, search directly in these indexes. The problem is that indexes are published only every ten years or so; thus you are usually missing the most current material. Furthermore, most of the journals are not individually indexed. For these periodicals follow this procedure:
1. Consult Claude THIBAULT, Bibliographia Canadiana. You will find this in the Reference section of the Library. The author has compiled an amazingly complete bibliography of works useful in Canadian history. Documents, books and articles, if published before 1971, are included. This is a real gold mine. However, for anything later than 1971, it will not be useful. (Reserve Reference 016.971 T485 [two copies])
2. Check if there is a specialized bibliography on your subject. Many subjects of Canadian/Quebec history have had their bibliographers. These are usually wonderful and very complete. Check the relevant section in the Reference section of the Library.
3. For anything printed between 1966 and 1985 consult Paul AUBIN, Bibliographie de l’histoire du Quйbec et du Canada, this runs into several volumes by now; we do not have all of them in the Library. These come from bibliographies originally published in the Revue d’histoire de l’Amйrique franзaise. They are computer generated, with all of the advantages and the defects inherent to this technology. (Reference 016.971 A894B volumes 1 and 2)
4. Another method, for anything printed in the scholarly journals after 1975, is to consult the substantial Canadian Periodical Index. This is an invaluable source. Ask the Reference librarian to show you how to use these.
5. For very current material that might not be indexed as yet in any of the standard sources, you might look up the current issues of the Canadian Historical Review, the Canadian Catholic Historical Association, Reports, the Canadian Ethnic Studies and the Revue d’histoire de l’Amйrique franзaise. Each of these has elaborate bibliographies of current material, divided by subjects, in each issue.
I require that you find, and use, a substantial number of scholarly articles for your assigned bibliography and to write your Paper.
Get used to working with scholarly journals and with the tools necessary to reach them. This will prove to be useful to you already at this stage of your studies; they are likely to be essential to your success in the future. Never hesitate to ask the Library staff to help you in this task. They will be delighted to teach to you those skills that will prove to be so important to your future success.

Statistical Material:
If you are looking for statistical evidence of a historical nature, consult one or more of the following:
• Historical Atlas of Canada, three volumes have been published so far. There are maps of all types. It is also a gold mine of statistical information. You will find that in the Reference section of the Library. (Atlas Stand 911.71 H673 volumes 1 - 3)
• Gйrard BERNIER and Robert BOILY, Le Quйbec en chiffres de 1850 а nos jours, ACFAS, 1986, 389p. Excellent source. Only available in my office at the present time. Do not hesitate to see me about it.
• M. C. URQUHART and K. A. C. BUCKLEY, Historical Statistics of Canada, the latest edition was in 1984. Excellent general source. (Reference 317.1 U79 1983)
• Canada Year Book, these have been published since 1885. Printed by the Government of Canada yearly for a long time. Now printed every few years. This is where you will find the latest, and simplest, information about Canada (social, demographical, economical and political). (Government Documents 317.1 C212 [1873 - 1990], Reference 317.1 C212 [1992-1997])
• L’annuaire statistique du Quйbec. The equivalent for Quйbec of the Canada Year Book. Has been published since 1914. (Government Documents 317.14 Q31A [1917 - 1978], Reference 317.14 Q31A [1985 - 1995])
• Census Reports. The Library has extensive holdings of these. There is hardly a subject where useful information would not be found in the Census Reports.

If you are looking for information of a biographical nature to get you started on a subject, or if you want fast information on a person whose name you have encountered in one of your readings, consult one or more of the following found in the Reference section of the Library:
• Dictionary of Canadian Biography. This massive undertaking is complete to 1910. The volumes are divided according to the date of death of the people listed. Our national biographical dictionary stands as a monument of scholarship in the works of reference available in the libraries of Canada. It represents the high achievement of the historical profession in Canada and can rank alongside the biographical dictionaries of the most advanced countries of the world with a long historical tradition. Become familiar with this great work of Canadian academia. (Reference 971B D554 volumes 1 - 13, index)
• Canadian Encyclopedia, has four volumes, last edited in 1988. It is excellent for short entries on a great variety of Canadian subjects. (Reference 917.1 E56C2 1988 volumes 1 - 4)
• Canadian Parliamentary Guide, published annually since 1901. Contains short biographies of all federal and provincial politicians sitting in the Canadian Parliament or a provincial legislature.
• Encyclopedia Canadiana, 10 volumes. Somewhat outdated but still useful for some subjects. (Reference 917.1 E56C 1970 volumes 1 - 10)
• J. K. JOHNSON, The Canadian Directory of Parliament, 1867-1967, Ottawa, 1968, 731p. Provides short biographies of all the federal members of Parliament in the first century of Confederation. (Reference 328.71 A2C21C)
• Rйpertoire des Parlementaires Quйbйcois,1867-1978, Quйbec, 1980, 796p. Provides biographies of all members of the National Assembly since Confederation. (Reference 328.714 R425)
• Norah STORY, The Oxford Companion to Canadian History and Literature, Oxford, 1967, 935p. Short biographies but useful. (Reference C810.3 S887)

Current Affairs:
The Library keeps a number of sources that can help you deal with current affairs (in history this is the last 20-30 years!). We keep the Montreal Gazette and Le Devoir. Indeed, in the case of Le Devoir, our collection is extensive and goes back to nearly the founding of the paper. For Quebec history, this is invaluable and many a research project can focus on this unique source of information.
The Library also holds a number of useful periodicals, some dating quite far back in time, which you will find of use when writing on a current issue. Magazines such as L’Actualitй, Maclean’s, Saturday Night, Canadian Forum, Time, Relations will prove useful. All are indexed in the Canadian Periodical Index.
For Quebec history we have collections of Action franзaise, and its successor Action nationale. These two periodicals were (and the latter still is) at the heart of the nationalist movement in Quebec.
The Library keeps a running subscription to Canadian Speeches as well. If it was said by somebody important in Canada, and the issue is of significance, it will be found in that source.
In Canadian history, the most interesting source of “current” information is the Canadian Annual Review. (Reference 971.06 C212 1901 to date) This was published annually between 1900 and 1940, and again since 1960. Every year, the editor reviews all of the major events of the past year. If it happened in Canada, it will be in this source. Become familiar with this work, it is essential to study contemporary Canada. A word of caution: the earlier volumes, edited by Castell Hopkins, were more “folksy” and lacked the detached, objective approach, that characterized the later volumes. The editor was Conservative, Imperialist and not very tolerant when it came to issues related to Quebec and French minorities. He detested Henri Bourassa who is now considered one of Canada’s great nationalist forerunners and an early proponent of bilingualism and biculturalism. Use it with care.
Since 1987, Denis MONIERE has edited a Quebec version of the Canadian Annual Review. It is entitled L’Annйe politique du Quйbec. It is an excellent source to follow the political, linguistic and economic situation of Quebec. Another great source of information, similar to having a newspaper summary of events, is the Canadian News Facts (Reference 317.1 C213) that is published annually since 1967. The great thing about it is that it is fully indexed. Thus, you can follow a specific issue from year to year, or the career of an important Canadian. Students of politics and current Canadian history have to become familiar with this source of information.

Government Documents:
There are many types of government documents that can be of use to you. Among others are:
• Various federal and provincial reports. You must look under the individual name of the Commission that produced the Report.
• The Statutes of Canada and the Lois refondues du Quйbec. We have a large holding of these although the collection is not complete.
• Debates of the Parliament of Canada and of the National Assembly. Again our collection is not complete but includes many useful debates for various issues that I assign as subjects from time to time.
• Journal of the Houses for the Federal Parliament and for the National Assembly.
• Sessional Documents. Check these carefully if you have a subject where this may be pertinent.

Notes on the Library:
The Library is at the heart of our Academic institution. In part, your success depends on your becoming familiar with its services. The Library staff, along with your teachers, are there to initiate you into the world of knowledge. Never hesitate to rely on them. Respect the rules of the Library. Think twice before taking material illegally from the Library; you will hurt your classmates by doing this, and you risk being caught and having a black mark on your record at the College. Many of the books and journals that disappear are irreplaceable. Photocopying is very inexpensive. If you need material for longer that the usual rules would allow, discuss it with me. Remember that all of my books and periodicals are available to you; just come to see me in my office.

The source

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