History essay writing guide

History referencing policy

The School of Historical and Philosophical Studies (SHAPS) recommends, and the History discipline requires, the use of Chicago style footnoting and referencing, which is summarised on the University Library's Chicago web page. The full Chicago style guide is available through the University Library Catalogue (you need to log in).

Please note: we require Australian (British rather than US) spelling and punctuation.

The difference is fully explained on The Punctuation Guide British versus American style web page. In brief - use single quotes (') for initial quotations, then double quotes (") for quotations within the initial quotation and put unquoted full stops and commas outside the quotation marks.

History word count and penalty policy

  • Footnotes and bibliography are not included in the word count
  • Footnotes are for essential references, not for extended commentary or discussion. You may on occasion add very brief contextualising comments, such as 'for an alternative explanation see x or y', or 'x holds an opposing view', but long discursive footnotes are not allowed. Footnotes judged to be overly discursive by the subject co-ordinator will be added to the word count (see below for penalties for over length essays)
  • The word length of the essay must be stated at the conclusion of the essay

Penalties for over length  essays:

  • 10 percent over the required length: no penalty
  • More than 10 percent deviation over the required length: 1 mark deducted for every further 1% above

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