Biographical comparison on Mohawk Saint


General points on style for the essay

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  1. Please avoid using the subjective pronoun, “I.”
  2. Your paper requires footnotes and a bibliography [both constructed according to The Chicago Manual of Style]. You are free to use outside sources as long as you acknowledge them in your footnotes and bibliography.
  3. The only question you need to address is the comparison with another biography. All of the others are optional.
  4. Please do not use the questions as subheads, but try to engage in a continuous discussion.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Biographical Essay Assignment


Essay Structure




  • General introduction of the biography of your choice.
  • Brief summary of its contents.


Main Discussion


The body of your paper will involve consideration of some of the following questions. Take care to support your statements with examples from the text:


Questions to Consider


  • Did the biography fulfill your basic curiosity about this historical individual? Did it stimulate additional questions, inspire your curiosity to know more about the individual or the era in question?


  • Did this biography cast light on a period of history and enhance your understanding of it? In what ways?


  • Did this biography make history less distant, less impersonal? In what ways?


  • Did this biography address larger questions – i.e. did it give you the opportunity to study and understand how gender, race, environment etc. shaped history? Did it give you a sense of the larger forces at work in history? The scholarly debates surrounding the period?


  • Does this biography destabilize cultural stereotypes or does it reaffirm them?


  • Is there anything missing in this biography that you would like to know?


  • Be aware of the publication date of the work you have chosen. Is the treatment outdated? If you were to write this biography now, how would you do so? What would you include? How would it have been written 50, even 100 years ago?



Comparison With Another Work


  • Historical individuals are subject to constant reinterpretation. Compare the biography you have chosen with another biography about the same individual or another individual from the same historical period. Which treatment do you think was most successful? Why?


First work for comparison

Abenaki Daring/Noel Annance/First Nations Individual


Greer, Allan. Mohawk Saint: Catherine Tekakwitha and the Jesuits. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Document provided in attacments


Second work

Susanna Moodie/Catherine Parr Traill


Cimon, Ann. Susanna Moodie : Pioneer Author. Montreal : XYZ Publishing, 2006.

Also provided in attachments


Requested style guidelines:


Sourcing Your Work

Footnotes and Bibliographies

All students must consult one of the numerous editions of The Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago: University of Chicago Press) for footnote and bibliographical format. It is the main style guide used by all major university presses throughout North America. There are electronic  versions of this style guide in both the Webster and Vanier libraries.

Please follow the format for Social Sciences and Humanities


N.B. Websites: Material taken from the internet can be cited, but the facts of publication from the original published source must be provided.


Biographical Report: You are encouraged to consult external reviews of the books you have chosen. However, but all external reviews must be acknowledged and sourced.


Concerning Plagiarism: Please see above excerpt under “University Regulations” concerning Academic Integrity.


Suggested Writing Guideline

Storey, William Kelleher and Towser Jones. Writing History: A Guide for Canadian Students. Second Edition. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2008. [Webster Reserve]


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