Monday, February 11, 2008

Putting a History Essay Online

A colleague of mine, Tim Compeau, wrote a few months ago about an essay of his that he reformatted for the web as part of a Digital History internship. For Tim, it was his first website.

I decided to follow in his footsteps and try to do the same myself. I also had never even attempted to write any HTML. But, armed only with w3schools.com's online HTML and CSS tutorials, and some patient Google searching when I got stuck, I was able to learn enough HTML and CSS to hand-code my first web page. It was a 7 part process, every bit of it free.

1) I chose the paper I wanted to encode: in my case, it was my undergraduate thesis: The United Irishmen's Allies.

2) I read Dan Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig's, "Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web" (available totally free, online).

3) I added all the necessary HTML tags so that the browser could read my paper. (free at W3 Schools.com)

4) I snazzed it up a bit with some CSS, so that my page wasn't merely a wall of text. (free at W3 Schools.com)

5) I uploaded my pages to my webspace (available totally free, if you are a UWO student)

6) I had W3C Markup Validation Service check my code to make sure it was written properly so that various kinds of browsers would all be able to read it. (available totally free and instantly online - all you need is to provide the site with the URL address of your page).

7) I put a link to my website on my blog so that Google and the other search engines out there can find it!

You can take a look at what I came up with Here.

It took me about 50 hours of fiddling with HTML and CSS to put the equivalent of a 50 page paper online. But I'm confident it will be easier in the future, now that I've taken the time to learn how it all works. It's still got a few bugs (especially if you're viewing it with Internet Explorer), but it was definitely a worthwhile exercise.

9 comments:

Andrea Melvin said...

Hey Adam, I like the look of your essay a lot - very professional. I might try to follow your list of how you did it at some point and do something similar. Is a good way to get "published." Great job!

William J. Turkel said...

Good job, Adam! The first one is always hardest. Bill

Emerson Boon said...

We have been able to bring around all those details which would influence the mind of professionals to seek all those prospects for their projects. biology extended essay topics

resume rewriting said...

I am learning web development and HTML is the basic language. Though it's not very difficult but programming languages need practice.

Brenda Smith said...

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Damon J. Hutton said...

Such type of the essay should consist of fundamental knowledge and you should write with the proper way. This is very sad that lots of the people did not know how to write the quality essay but we have online science homework . This is great information regarding the information of the essay.

William N. Balderrama said...

Good information. Thanks

William N. Balderrama said...

A history essay sometimes referred to as a thesis essay or reflective english essay describes an argument or claim about one or more historical events and supports that claim with evidence, arguments, and references. The text makes it clear to the reader why the argument or claim is as such. This is very good article you have shared about putting a history essay online which should helpful for essay writers.

Thomas Driscoll said...

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