History 101, Block 4, 2003

Europe 800-1300

History 101






Completed Projects

History Dept.


Christine's other Cornell courses

Primary Source-based Papers
  • Each is worth 20% of your course grade
  • Due on Thursday 4 December, Thursday 11 December, and Thursday 18 December

For each of the three papers you write this term, you will need to write 1000 words (approx. 4 pages, typed, double-spaced and in 12 pt. font) using either footnotes or endnotes to cite information and ideas you get from the documents, your course texts, or your class notes. No additional research is needed to complete these papers.

The documents needed for each paper are ON RESERVE in the Library. I realize the copies I have of them are in a very small font size, so if you would like to print yourself larger versions, they can be accessed at the Medieval History Sourcebook at Fordham University.

You should make every effort to write well-integrated answers to the questions, with good grammar, spelling, and transitions. While you may want to use lots of direct quotations from the documents, these should be used sparingly, and you should avoid long, block quotes if at all possible.

In writing your papers, feel free to ask Dr. Myers questions, and discuss your ideas with your classmates. Keep in mind, though, that originality of thought is a bonus and will help you to a higher grade. And in writing all your papers, be sure that they are clear and understandable, even to a reader who knows nothing about the topics. For this reason I suggest that you ask a roommate or friend who is not in the course to proofread your papers, they should also help you catch typos. (If you have time, a visit to the Writing Studio in the Library is also something many students find helpful.)


Paper #1 - On the First or Third Crusade (due Thursday 4 December)

Q: Using either the example of the First or Third Crusade as a comparison, do you think the current western involvement in the Middle East is a modern-day crusade?

Be careful to remain objective in your analysis, this is a History paper, not strictly speaking an opinion paper. For either of the crusades you may wish to consider the following additional questions: What motivated the crusade (politically, spiritually)? What motivated the crusaders? What difficulties did they encounter in undertaking their adventure? What happened once they reached the Holy Lands? What was the nature of warfare at the time? What were the perceptions of the Muslims (and vice versa)? Was the crusade successful? And in the case of the Third Crusade, was the peace treaty equitable? Do you think it will bring peace?

Paper #2 - On Universities or Marriage (due Thursday 11 December)

Q1: How does student life at the University of Paris compare with that of Cornell College?

Again, be careful not to get too personal with this - stay objective! Additional questions to consider in writing this paper: In what ways are the students misbehaving? How do the authorities try to regulate the students? Does the situation seem to be getting better or worse over time? (you can define better and worse for yourself, but be clear about what you mean…)

Q2: How does marriage in the Middle Ages compare to marriage in the modern world?

Additional questions to consider: What are the roles of husband and wife? What are the expectations of physical contact between spouses? How does the church view marriage? What are the purposes of marriage? How is adultery viewed?

Paper #3 - On the Magna Carta (due Thursday 18 December)

Q: The Magna Carta was designed to prevent tyranny in the form of the king, and it is cited as a forerunner of modern representative government. You must either discuss what aspects of the Magna Carta are similar to our modern government in the U.S., or what aspects are now outdated and no longer a part of modern government. You must refer to at least 12 points from the Magna Carta.


According to The Compass, "Plagiarism is the act of taking the work of another and presenting it as one's own, without acknowledgement of the original source. ...It is always the responsibility of the student to provide precise sources for all ideas, information, or data he or she has borrowed or adapted. Simply listing sources in a bibliography is not sufficient. Students who use information from the World Wide Web are expected to follow these same guidelines for the citation of sources."

Footnotes or Endnotes
For any piece of information or ideas you use from another source, you must provide a reference. Let me repeat that…for any piece of information or ideas you use from another source, you must provide a reference. If you do not, you are breaking the law - it is called plagiarism, and is a very serious offense (see above).

As a general rule, you should have at least one footnote/endnote per paragraph in your paper. You may list more than one source in the footnote/endnote to save you making too many of them, but you must have all the knowledge you have "borrowed" properly cited.

You can use either footnotes or endnotes. Your computer will automatically insert them for you. To insert a footnote/endnote, place cursor at the end of the sentence and do as follows:

  • In Microsoft Word (for Windows)…pull down Insert menu.
  • Choose "Footnote…"
  • When the small window pops up…select Footnote or Endnote (Footnote is usually the default).
  • "AutoNumber" should also be selected. Click OK.
  • Automatically a new "footnote" screen will come up at the bottom of your paper, set to the correct footnote number you should be on. At that point you will type in your reference information (see format on the bottom of this page). After you are finished, you can move your cursor back to the main text of your paper with your mouse. It is also good to know that you can cut, paste, and copy footnotes just as you can any other text (by highlighting the number in the paper itself and performing whichever function you need). Footnotes are normally in 10pt. font.

Format of Footnote/Endnote References

  • Put the author's first name then last name, followed by a comma, not a period.
  • The title of the book comes next, in italics, followed by the publishing information in parentheses (you only need the publishing info. the first time you cite the source).
  • When using the course texts you must list the page or pages you got the information from (so that anyone reading your paper can go double check your information or read further on the topic). For class notes you should have the name of the course and the date the information was given in class.
  • After the first time you cite a source, you may use an abbreviated reference further on…or, if you are already familiar, you may use Ibids. (you may ask me about these, but they are not required…just a form of referencing shorthand that some people like to use).


1 Morris Bishop, The Middle Ages (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1968), p. 95.

2 Bishop, The Middle Ages, pp. 26-30.

3 Eileen Power, Medieval Women (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975), pp. 30, 45.

4 Medieval History Sourcebook, "Magna Carta 1215," point number 51, <www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/mcarta.html>.

5 Medieval History Sourcebook, "Crusader Letters: Anselm of Ribemount to Manasses II, Archbishop of Reims," <www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/cde-letters.html>.

6 Anselm of Ribemount.

7 History 101: Europe 800-1300, class notes, December 1, 2003.

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Christine Myers, History 101, Block 4, 2003 ©2003 Cornell College; All Rights Reserved