Primary sources are original or contemporary materials that historians study when they write about the past. They include writings, artifacts, letters, official reports, and a host of other materials. They are the building blocks for an understanding of history. However, in order to use these materials responsibly, we need to be alert to the circumstances surrounding the creation of the sources and any potential distortions, inaccuracies, or bias.
The selected works in the Primary Source Book have been chosen to supplement and enhance the student’s understanding of the factual material covered in the corresponding chapter of the textbook.
Attached is a list of selected documents from the primary source book. The student is to select one of these documents, and prepare 3-4 typed pages in length essay.
Your paper should consider and incorporate the following elements:
1. The type of document
2. Who wrote it? When was it written? What is the historical context of this document? (What historical event(s) or developments contributed to the creation of this document?)
3.Research the author of the document. Provide a brief, relevant background information that could provide some insight into the reason or influence behind the document.
4. What is the main subject of the document and what kind of information is contained in the document?
5.What is the purpose or intent of this document? Was it intended to persuade? Was it intended to provide a factual account of some event? What opinions are presented in the text? What is the author’s point of view? What biases (if any) Can be found in the text? Is the author credible? Did the author have reliable knowledge of the event or circumstances? What other types of documents would you look at to verify the information provided by this document?
6. Consider this document in light of the other documents cited in the particular chapter. Do you detect a consensus view point or is there a contradictory position presented?
7. AS AN ANALYTICAL SUMMARY – How does this document contribute to a better and more complete understanding of this historical period?
I attached the entire instruction sheet and the primary document list that will need to be used for the paper.
The text book is Prospectives From the Past: Primary Sources in Western Civilization Vol. 1: From Ancient Near East Through the Age of Absolutism Sixth Edition by James M. Brophy.