Posting Policy for the Medieval History Forum
Thank you for participating in discussions here at the Medieval History site! I'm the forum host, and your About Guide to Medieval History, Melissa Snell.
Our forum is an informal arena, and I want to encourage free discussion on a variety of topics related to the Middle Ages and Renaissance. However, the board is also consulted by students seeking answers to homework questions, direction for research papers and inspiration for school projects. Although all visitors are warned not to take forum posts for "fact" without checking with further sources, it is my hope that we can offer some real assistance and useful guidance, and not perpetuate any of the numerous misconceptions and stereotypes associated with this complex historical era.
Therefore, I request that all visitors abide by the following rules.
1. Be Polite.
I appreciate that some of you hold passionate views about certain subjects related to the medieval era. However, though a discussion may get heated, there is no reason to resort to personal attacks. You are welcome to share your opinion, as long as it doesn't insult others and as long as it is clearly identified as an opinion; but please respect the opinions of others and their right to disagree with you.
Name-calling, threats, foul language, or disparagement of any religion, race or gender will not be permitted.
You would also be wise to limit any sarcasm or condescension the comments of others may provoke.
2. Be considerate to your audience.
Your conversation in this forum is not a private one, so please remember to write so people of various ages and different world origins can understand you. If using a term that is not defined in any of the free online dictionaries, please offer a brief definition. Please do not use abbreviations without explaining what they represent, and when referring to an event or individual, please use a widely-recognized name or term to identify your subject.
Also, some visitors have vision troubles, so please do not specify a font size or use florescent text colors
3. Stick to the topic.
This is a medieval history forum. Comments about current or recent political leaders, modern wars, international relations, or anything else not related to medieval studies are inappropriate for this forum and will not be permitted. About has many guidesites more appropriate to these topics, each with its own lively and informative forum, and you are welcome to express your opinions there.
For the sake of visitors searching our archives for specific information, please consider starting a new thread whenever the conversation leads you off on a tangent that you'd like to discuss in any depth.
4. Be prepared to substantiate any statement of fact with sources.
If you make a statement as an assertion of fact, you may be called upon to explain where you got your information. You are not "under attack," and there is no call for hostility. All visitors, students especially, have a right to know your sources, so please be ready to provide them. If you cannot provide a legitimate source, say so -- preferably when you originally post your "fact" in order to avoid being asked to "put up or shut up."
Please note: "everybody knows it's true" is NOT a legitimate source.
5. Abide by copyright law.
When quoting from copyrighted material, the provisions of "fair use" apply. Quote only what is necessary to support your point, and provide book title (or article title and publication), author, and if necessary, page number. If you're quoting from an on-line source, provide the URL (beginning with http://) of the specific page you are quoting; you can do this through the simple procedure of copying the URL from your browser and pasting it into your post. Unless the on-line document is not freely accessible to all, do not post it in its entirety here.
Keep in mind: Virtually anything you can find in print, on the web or off, is copyrighted these days. Even if you can't find a copyright notice, your best bet is to assume the work you're quoting is copyrighted and proceed accordingly.
6. Be specific when quoting others.
When referring to another post on the board (besides the one to which you're replying), please provide the post number. When directly responding to a specific portion of another's post, please copy and paste the pertinent portions, rather than rephrasing the original post. Some of the most heated conflicts have arisen from one participant's misrepresentation of another's arguments; let's try to understand each other instead of putting words in each other's mouths
7. Take your personal grievances off the forum.
To avoid unnecessary conflict, it's best to let pass comments that you don't like. However, if you have a problem with the manner in which a member of this forum is conducting himself, and if you simply cannot refrain from talking to him about it, kindly send your post directly to him via the e-mail option instead of broadcasting it to everyone on the board.
This goes for any problems you have with how your guide is moderating this forum. Take it up privately with me in email at email@example.com. If the results prove unsatisfactory to you, then take it up with About at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Repeated violations will lead to banning.
Thank you for your cooperation, and happy posting!