Writing & Research Resources
Resources for undergrduate students to help you with your research and academic writing
Our department is involved with two student-run journals that often include historical research by undergraduate students, as well as opportunities to get involved with journal publishing.
Footnotes: A Journal of History - Published annually by UA students. See submission guidelines
Arizona Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies - The AZJIS is a peer-reviewed journal published in affiliation with Confluence: Center for Creative Inquiry. With a focus on interdisciplinary research in the humanities, arts, and sciences, the AZJIS hopes to promote innovative scholarship in our region. See submission guidelines.
Visit Faculty by Area of Study to learn more about our faculty's interests and find a professor to help you with your research.
Visit Libraries and Archives to find archival resources and specific primary source document sites.
Learn more about interdisciplinary research in the social sciences and areas studies through these UA research centers:
- Division for Late Medieval and Reformation Studies
- Latin American Studies
- Mexican-American Studies
- Center for Middle Eastern Studies
- Center for Africana Studies
- Southwest Center
- Gender and Women's Studies
Here are some links to useful writing resources on various websites:
- Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)
- The Process and Types of Writing (from Study Guides and Strategies)
- Writing Guides from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Writing Center
- Steven Pinker on How to be a Better Writer
- Citations Management (UA Libraries)
- Tips for Overcoming Writer's Anxiety and Writer's Block
- The Tough (But Necessary) Job of Cutting Your Own Writing (from Grammarly)
Frequently Asked Questions About Academic Writing
All history essays, unless specified by the instructor, are comprised of an introduction, body and conclusion. The introduction should contain a very brief summary of the topic and your thesis statement. The body of the essay should explain evidence that support the thesis with each paragraph answering a different portion of the study. The conclusion should bring the essay back together and show how the thesis is proven.
A good thesis statement makes worthy arguments that takes a side rather than restate a general concept. Be sure to carefully read what is asked of you for the assignment and what kind of argument you need to make. After you decide what you want to say in your thesis, you need to clearly communicate the point. Make sure that your word choice and grammar are accessible and straightforward, too much embellishment might hide your argument. Specifically state what your argument is rather than using general words. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for the reader
Generally, historians use the Chicago Manual (note-bibliography) style of citation. This includes source citations found in footnotes at the bottom of each page and a bibliography at the end to summarily list all of the sources, with a slightly different format for each. However, it is always wise to check with an instructor or reread the assignment's requirements before you begin writing.
Be sure to visit the UA Library's webpage for instructions on How To Cite your sources. This page also has a link to the Chicago Manual of Style, as well as other style guides. There is a Chicago Manual of Style citation guide available online that gives sample citations for the most common types of sources, such as books, journal articles, newspapers, and websites.
For specific guidelines and examples of Chicago style citations, as well as verbal descriptions of how to construct Chicago style citations, you can access Purdue OWL information page here: Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition
The basic rule of thumb for plagiarism is if you use someone else’s words, ideas, concepts or specific opinion without citing them, you are at fault. This includes using another’s words, paraphrasing their ideas in your own words, or using their images without acknowledgement.
If you want to know more, feel free to explore the UA Library's webpages on:
Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism
Accidental Plagiarism (Tutorial)
Most students think that a longer quotation takes up space that they do not have to fill in. This is not true. Remember that the longer the quote is, the longer your analysis of that quote must be. Only quote the part you need as evidence to reinforce your argument. Most should be short and to the point, giving you more space to make your own ideas shine. Generally speaking, the more economical the quote, the better your essay will be.