Term Paper and Citation Guidelines
A term paper is required. Complete the paper (7-10 pages), following these steps:
1. Choose a topic/title on modern African history. Before picking a topic, you may need
to spend some time exploring the major scholarly journals such as the Journal of African
History, African Studies Review, African Affairs, Journal of Modern African Studies,
Africa Today, etc. Most of these journals are available at the Thompson Library or
through JSTORE or Library database (If you are not familiar with how to access the
journals through JSTORE or on the internet, consult the Thompson Library staff or a
librarian in your area). Start early, but do not waste too much time searching for a topic.
If you can’t find an appropriate topic within a short time (by the end of January), contact
the Instructor immediately. After identifying a topic, inform the instructor about your
choice topic by February 15, 2017 for any feedback.
2. Do the Research: After identifying a topic, search for relevant information or
sources, and read and take notes. Use multiple sources—including scholarly books and
articles, newspaper and internet texts—to complete the term paper. Although the number
of sources you may use depends on the topic you selected, it is necessary to consult
various sources with different view points, and cite more works rather than less.
3. Write the Paper: After collecting enough information, write the paper. In general, a
successful term paper includes: a thesis, well organized argument supporting the thesis,
conclusion, reference (within the text or as endnotes) and a bibliography (a list of all
sources used in alphabetical order).
4. For the citation style, use The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.) or Kate L. Turabian,
A Manual for Writers (7th ed.). Alternatively, you can use a citation style that is
commonly used in your major discipline. Whatever style you use, be consistent. Do not
mix different citation formats in a single paper. In the bibliography, provide the following
facts: author(s), title, edition (if more than one), place of publication, publisher(s),
year of publication, and page number(s). The bibliography should be arranged
alphabetically (See handout that will be provided later).
5. On the title page of your paper, provide: the title of your paper, your name and course
number. Put page numbers on each piece. Check for spelling, grammatical and
punctuation errors before you submit the paper.
The term paper is due on March 31, 2017 or earlier. Use the Assignment Box to submit
the term paper. Remember, you are responsible for making sure that your paper
is properly submitted and received by the instructor on time. If you do not receive a
receipt of acceptance within five days after submitting the paper, you need to contact the
Note on Plagiarism
Plagiarism involves using another person’s works or ideas without appropriate
acknowledgement. As defined in the University catalog, plagiarism is “taking credit for
someone else’s work or ideas, submitting a piece of work (for example, an essay, research
paper, assignment, laboratory report) which in part or in whole is not entirely the
student’s own work without fully and accurately attributing those same portions to their
correct source.”(Catalog, 2016-2017). Plagiarism is a serious crime in academic work. It
can lead to serious consequences and can affect your academic goals. Make sure that all
the sources in your paper are clearly identified and acknowledged. When you use an
author’s words, indicate by putting them in quotation marks (‘. . . “) and provide the page
Topic: Al-Hajj Umar Tal
In the mid-nineteenth century, another successful religious reform took place in Futa Toro and Futa Jallon, in Upper Senegal Valley.. The leader of this reform was Umar Tal, a Muslim scholar who visited Mecca in 1826. While visiting Mecca, he was appointed as deputy of Tijaniyya order. After completing his pilgrimages he returned to West Africa to preach Islam. On his way home, he stayed at courts of several Muslim leaders, including the court of Muhammad Bello of the Sokoto Empire. Finally, settling in Futa Jallon, he initiated a jihad against Mulsim and non-Muslim rulers. Like Dan Fodio, Umar Tal was intolerant of the corruption of Muslim rulers. He armed his followers with firearms he purchased from European merchants. Al-Hajj Umar was initially successful in delaying French advances into the upper Senegal Valley. But he was unable to defeat the better armed French forces; he was forced to retreat into the interior and focus his attention on African rulers of the Niger bend. Unlike the Sokoto Empire, Umar’s empire did not last long. Al-Hajj Umar was killed in a battle in 1863. His son, Ahmadu Sefu struggled to maintain the state until French occupation in 1884. Despite the short existence of the Umarian state, the reforms of Al-Hajj Umar helped the survival and expansion of Islam in the Senegal Valley during the French colonial rule.