Spring 2016 Western Civilization
*Please hand in this assignment during class on Thursday or turn it into my mailbox by 3:00pm in 220 Woodburn Hall and be sure to have it date/time stamped.
Primary Source Analysis Assignment (PSA)
Primary sources are the stuff of history. While historians use both primary and secondary sources in their research, primary sources are the actual records that survive from the past and therefore are pertinent to understanding the past. As historians, we analyze primary sources in a variety of ways in order to understand the sources; we want to identify what type of source it is, its author (if known), the purpose and possible biases of the author, the intended audience, the context, and so on. As a result, historians read primary sources carefully and think about them critically. Below are four steps to use to help you analyze any given primary source. You will use these four steps to help you analyze a primary source for the writing assignment for the class – the Primary Source Analysis (PSA).
For this writing assignment, you will study and analyze your primary source from the Scavenger Hunt. In a structured essay of 2-3 pages, analyze a passage only (not the complete document). Carefully address all of the items below as thoroughly as possible. You are expected to use information from lecture, the textbook, and possibly the sourcebook to help you answer these questions. No outside sources should be used for this assignment. Please use Times New Roman, 12-point font, and double-space your paper. This is not a traditional essay assignment; you do not need an introduction or conclusion. Simply answer, in complete sentences, all of the questions in each of the four sections below. Mark your sections clearly (i.e. 1., 2., 3., 4.). This paper is 150 points of your grade, and is due by class on March 17, 2016.
1. IDENTIFY the passage you chose: specify the author of the source, what type of perspective it represents, the title, when and where it was composed, for whom it was composed (intended audience), the genre of the source (chronicle, letter, legal document, poem, etc.), and the broader historical period (what else is going on at the time of composition).
2. SUMMARIZE the main point(s) of the passage in your own words. There should be NO quotations in this section. [25 points]
3. ANALYZE the passage closely: Identify all significant words and phrases in the passage and explain their meaning. Determine how these words work together to convey the ideas the author wishes to express. What are the author’s goals in writing this document? In other words, why did the author write this document? What methods does he use to achieve these goals? [50 points]
4. Explain the HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE of the passage: relate the document to the historical context in which it was produced. What does this document tell you about the time and place in which it was written? What is the historical significance of the document – so what? Why is this document important for us to study? Base your answer on evidence drawn from the document itself. [50 points]
Citation is important. If you incorporate any information into your paper that is not common knowledge, you must cite that information. To cite, you need to use the Chicago Manual of Style guidelines (standard for History). There is a link to a citation guide located in the “Important Papers” folder on eCampus to help guide you. The following are some examples of proper citation. If you would like to include information about Hammurabi from the brief introduction preceding his code in the Sourcebook, insert a footnote in your paper. The footnote citation would look like this: 1Katherine J. Lualdi, ed., Sources of the Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures, Vol. I (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012), 18-19. If you would like to incorporate information from the Textbook about Hammurabi, for example, your footnote would look like this: 1Lynn Hunt, et al., The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures, Vol. I (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2015), 14-15. If you do not give credit to the author with citation, you will be plagiarizing and may fail the assignment (please see the syllabus). If you cite improperly or incompletely, your paper may be subject to a full grade deduction.
*The subject should be talking about the attached file and all the instructions are written above*
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