Metahistory Addition Guide

This guide is useful ONLY AFTER you have followed the directions for setting up your Metahistory repository AND have done some Metahistory revisions.

Before proceeding, make sure you have your own copy of the Metahistory repository, and you can see the functioning website based on YOUR repository in YOUR GitHub account (the URL will look like

Save time with bookmarks

Create bookmarks in your browser for two locations you will be visiting often:

  • YOUR own Metahistory REPOSITORY:, replacing USERNAME with your GitHub username.
  • YOUR own Metahistory WEBSITE:

Grab the sample page

  • Similar to what you did when getting your page for revisions, grab the raw code of the starter essay. (The web version of the starter is here.)
  • Working in YOUR repository (the URL will look like, go into the essays folder and appropriate subfolder for the time period or theme of your essay.
  • Create a new page for your essay the same way you create posts for your reading responses. CAREFUL WITH THE FOLLOWING:
    • Be sure your filename is all lower case and uses hyphens instead of spaces!
    • Don’t forget the .md extension, just like your reading reflections.
    • It’s easy to modify the title later. You can do this by clicking the pencil icon to edit the file, and then click on the filename to edit it.
  • Paste in the code you copied from the starter essay.
  • Edit the header of your file (the metadata between the --- marks at the top) to reflect your TITLE, SUBTITLE, NAME.
  • Ignore the toc-blurb and toc-image fields for now.
  • To get your page to show on the left nav, find toc-section name and change the value to one of the following:
    • antiquity
    • medieval
    • early-modern
    • enlightenment
    • modern
    • postmodern
    • thematic
  • Commit your new page.

Test your page

  • You MUST have your essay publicly accessible to participate in the peer review process!
  • Test your page by going to (you bookmarked it, right?) and navigate to your page. Remember there is a short lag between when you commit your file and when those changes appear on the actual webpage.
  • If your page is not showing up in the left nav, check the toc-section parameter.
    • Even if that’s not working, you can still test/view your essay at:, where FOLDER is the folder in which you created a new file, and FILENAME is the name of the file you created.
  • Once you have a working page, add the URL of your essay to our class list.


If your page never appears, check these in the following order:

  • Are you really tired or frustrated? Trust me, just take a break. It’s WAY TOO EASY to miss little details when exhausted or in a hurry.
  • Make sure the URL you are trying to access matches the folder structure in your repository.
  • Double check your metadata at the top of the page is correct, including the --- above AND below the data.
  • Double check that all the image code blocks are intact and you’re not missing any brackets or quotes.

Page build errors

If you commit a file with a syntax error (a missing quote or something like that), you should get an email from GitHub saying you have a “page build error”. Until you fix it, you won’t see any subsequent changes you save on your online version.