Links on Writing

As you finish the revisions on your first paper, use the following from the History Department’s guide to writing:

General Writing Guidelines

Information on improving introductions and conclusions

Instructions on using quotations effectively

Footnote Formatting

Since citations were a big issue in the drafts, I thought I’d post a few examples.


I know talking to many of you that you’ve had trouble with sending your Word 2007 files to people who can’t open them with our older versions of MS Word.

One solution is to follow this link to a YouTube video explaining how you can save your file in a format that will work on earlier versions of Word.

Start watching at ~3:40 in the 5+ minute piece.

[Hat Tip to Andy Rush, UMW’s Media Specialist]

Setting the stage for our WWI discussion

If you haven’t caught it yet, make sure to visit Taylor’s recent blog post.

Today, I’d like to start class with a discussion of our readiness.

Class Assessment File

[Hat tip to Dr. Campbell for this idea.]

I know we’re still only at the Civil War, but this is related to our class themes, so I thought I’d bring it to your attention and those of the people who read this class blog.

Ken Burns, creator of a number of documentaries about American History, including The Civil War, spent six years creating a new 15-hour documentary on World War II entitled The War.  The first part airs tonight on PBS. See here for more information.
Reviewers of the series have been mixed in their assessments (for example, read the Washington Post‘s review), though they generally seem to agree that the images (many of them previously unseen) and words are quite powerful.

Another related aspect to our class is that Burns has partnered with the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress to make available a number of the interviews used in the documentary.  In addition he hopes to encourages others to do what each of you will be doing, interviewing an American veteran for the sake of preserving their stories.

Keep these categories in mind as you do the reading for Thursday.

  1. Discipline
  2. Camp Life
  3. Disease
  4. Fighting
  5. Death
  6. Desertion
  7. Prison

The Civil War in Four Minutes

This clip is a useful, if grainy, overview of the shifting battle lines and casualties in the Civil War.

[The piece was originally created for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. The process of determining casualties and their dates actually involved substantial historical research.]

Get a account is what’s known as a social bookmarking site. In simplest terms it’s a way to keep track of online sites, blog postings, YouTube videos, whatever you want. See for a quick summary.

Sign up for your own account at and send me your username via email.

Thursday’s Assignment

The reading for Thursday includes material from both the readings tab and the FSEM Topics tab. Be sure to read both. Your blog post for Thursday should reflect on the Wages of War Readings. As you read, think about connections and contradictions with the material we’ve already covered.