These are some examples
of common writing style, or English usage, errors that you will wish to avoid in
your writing assignments in your history courses.
Examples of poor introduction
In the areas of Germany, England and France
during the Middle Ages, a lot of differences and similarities occurred
in the political and social developments.
During the Middle Ages, the regions of
England, France and Germany were interconnected by marriage, war and church.
[PASSIVE] The development of monarchy into governmental systems varied
among the states in Western Europe. The three territories broke into different
directions of political concepts of government. All developed new systems.
New systems that grew and changed. [REPETITION AND FRAGMENT] Some even
flourished, remaining intact and are still in use today.
During the Middle Ages, conquerors made
their way throughout Europe. Kingdoms were established [PASSIVE] and reestablished,
making the locals go through many changes in their religion, language and
Examples of good introduction
When the emperor Charlemagne died in 814,
the fragmented remains of his kingdom formed the beginnings of what later
became France and Germany. Together with England to the northwest, these
three areas became the primary powers in Europe in the Middle Ages. Throughout
this time, the secular leaders of these regions, engaged in political struggle
with the papacy and with local nobles and dukes. In France, these struggles
led to the emergence of a strong monarchy, and in England to a strong central
government in which power was shared by a monarch and Parliament. Germany,
however, because of these conflicts, never achieved a unified government.
There were many similarities between Germany,
France and England during the Middle Ages in the areas of rulers, traditions
and the impact of military success.
Germany, France and England all went through
similar, although by no means identical, developments in rule, religion
and administration in the Middle Ages.
Need for a new paragraph
William established a strong central government
in England. He had accurate information about property in the kingdom gathered
by officials. This information was then recorded in a book called the "Doomsday
Book." The book then was used to decide what taxes people owed. [HERE] When
William died, his son Henry replaced him.
As for the question of the church, William
had its support for his conquest because of his willingness to support
Gregorian reforms, which Harold, England's previous king, had not supported. [HERE]
When Henry I came to the throne, he captured his brother Robert, who had
inherited the French lands of William I.
Otto was crowned Holy Roman emperor in
962. The empire was then continually divided by war as the dukes tried
to regain control of their territories. [transition lacking] After the fall of Rome, cities
This was an early form of what became Parliament.
These are the reasons England became a centralized and unified state during
the Middle Ages. [transition lacking] In France, Louis IX (1226-1270) issued two ordinances
without consent which furthered royal power.
William established a national unity in
England, being that he conquered the island all at once. National unity
was also established by developing a common law.
But the kingdom of Wessex, ruled by Alfred
the Great survived. In order to stop the decline in learning that usually
accompanied the Danish invasions, Alfred set up a palace school and brought
scholars from other areas. Alfred's descendants gradually regained land
from the Danes and re-established Anglo-Saxon control over England.
This law became known over all of England
and restored its unity. [OVERSTATEMENT] Henry II formed the procedure of
trail [SPELLING] and jury for case's in the kings court. [APOSTROPHE] This
jury was an ancestor of the modern jury systems. Financial administration
paralleled the development of a strong judicial system. Royal accountants
saw to the collection of revenues owed to the king.
Use of apostrophe
Alfreds descendants, kings position, kingdoms
assent, governments oppression, Johns French lands, it's territories, it's
England was divided into Shires administered
Pronoun antecedent problems
Specifically, Charlemagne had the church
set up schools for any man's use, had them [?] codify their laws and said,
in essence, "one church, one service," meaning anyone who goes to church
anywhere in Germany would have the same service performed as anywhere else.
When someone is excommunicated,
they [?] are
In 1226 Louis IX became king. He was the
most dearly loved monarch of the Middle Ages. [why] Under him the power of the
French monarch continued to grow. [why] In the beginning of the fourteenth century,
Philip IV engaged in a struggle.
The Estates General "never succeeded in
becoming a balance of power for the monarchy as did the English Parliament."
Unlike the English Parliament, the Estates
General never became an important body in French political life. No comparable
checks on the king's power developed in France as it had in England.
Otto's successors wished to gain control
over Italy [WHY] and the papacy, a dream that hurled the territory into
a war with the church. German dukes sided with Italian cities, both enemies
of the emperor. Eventually, the German attempt to control Italy failed.
Consequently, Germany remained as divided territories unable to ally into
political unity. [WHY]
During the reign of Henry I (1100-1135)
and Henry II (1154-1189)
Edward III (1227-1272) was good with Parliament
but fomented the Hundred Years' War, introducing longbowmen, who made knights
vulnerable for the first time.
The Middle Ages was a time for vitality
and renewal. In the middle ages [CAPITALIZATION]
When King John was in rule
Henry II lay the foundations
When Pepin died, the throne was claimed [pp]
by his son, Charlemagne.
From the very beginning of the Middle Ages,
the area of Germany was left to deal with a problem of unity
From the time following Charlemagne's death,
France was encompassed by several civil wars
Lack of coherence in a paragraph
Most European law consisted of Germanic
customs. Although Germany was unable to grow in a political state due to
warfare, internal rebellion, and assassination. Kings became more powerful
and were able to achieve greater order and security in large areas.
Use of "would" or colloquial language
The German empire would go on to produce
emperors such as Frederick Barbarossa who would attempt to stretch the
German empire and put a choke hold on the pope.
His grandson, Henry, would later gain much
of southern France.
Probably his biggest contribution to history
was his dividing of his kingdom into 300 counties, each run by a count
who had sworn an oath of fealty to him. This would be used as a governmental
model in both France and England.
the biggest monarchal power in Europe
his biggest contribution
Frederick II got into a dispute
The French king maintained support from
the church in order to avoid conflicts and any threat to his power. This
enabled the king to increase and extend his power. The conflict between
Philip the Fair and the pope ended in Philip's success.
The Magna Carta is a document that entitles
British citizens to their basic rights and liberties.