Over the course of the semester students will write two Primary Source Analyses, each worth 50 points for a total of 100 points. Each analysis should be 12-point Times New Roman font, and 1.5 double-spaced pages. The objective of these exercises is to work like a historian by a) critically analyzing a primary source, b) integrating the primary source into secondary source reading, and c) practicing thoughtful yet concise writing.
Students should choose one of the primary sources from For the Record and analyze it. Note that there are more sources in each chapter than are assigned as required reading. Although students are welcome to discussed assigned sources, they may also choose a source from For the Record that has not been previously assigned. Their papers should be composed of three paragraphs of roughly the same length. The first paragraph should be a brief summary of the primary source (who wrote it, what it is about, etc.) The second paragraph should be placing the document in its historical context using specific references to the textbook with page numbers. For example: Why is the document important? Why was it important at that specific time? What was happening at the time? The final paragraph should be your impression of the document and whether it accurately represents the time period. In other words, is it true to what was happening? For example: Was it what you expected? Did it enhance your understanding of the time period? Did the author seem to have ulterior motives?
For your Primary Source Analysis, you are to be analyzing a written document, not one of the pictures in For the Record. All I ask is for in-line parenthetical citations just like the discussion sections. Citations should include the author’s/editors’ name(s) and page number(s) for each citation. You are not using outside resources, only Give Me Liberty and the selections from For the Record. The main goal of these assignments is to critically examine a primary source and place it in its historical context. You will have a change to practice including a works cited section when you submit your essays.
Additionally, there is no need for a formal cover page. A single-spaced heading containing your name, the date, and your section number will suffice.
The most common issues with Primary Source Analysis 1 were as follows:
Paragraph 1: You need to provide a citation even when paraphrasing. What page(s) in For the Record is the source found on?
Paragraph 2: you need to use Give Me Liberty to situate the source in its historical context.
Paragraph 3: avoid being too general and basic. What did you learn personally as a result of reading the document?
Watch spelling and grammar, especially names and proper pronouns. You should be using word processing software that automatically checks for spelling and grammar. If it doesn’t, then you need to be sure you are manually running the check. There is no excuse for spelling errors of common words.
The name of book required:
1. David Shi and Holly Meyer, For the Record: A Documentary History of America, Volume 2, 7th edition (ISBN: 9780393673807)
2. Eric Foner, Give Me Liberty! An American History, Volume 2, Seagull 5th edition (ISBN: 9780393614190)
I will post a grade rubric. Please follow the grade rubric while writing the analysis. Thanks so much.
Comments from Customer
The writer needs to use one of the primary source from the required text book.
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