Western Civilization

Historians rely on primary and secondary sources both in the construction of their arguments and in the narration of the past. Primary sources, the focus of this assignment, are the foundation of historical writing and range across a variety of media, including government documents, diaries, newspapers, and pamphlets. Such sources are the basis for the history that we are exploring together in this course. Your ability to use these sources will be essential for your final project.Identify those topics that are discussed in the sources. How are these topics addressed similarly and differently? While you will describe and analyze the content of these sources, you will also contextualize the sources in terms of who is writing and why. Such a discussion will encompass the question of the intended audience and demonstrate a sound and nuanced grasp of the source’s intentions. When you are discussing the author or the historical context, be sure to ground your discussion in the historical knowledge we are covering in the course. What conclusions can you draw about how historians make use of contradictory evidence?This assignment requires students to compare and contrast at least two primary sources within a given unit. This assignment is NOT a research paper based on secondary sources, but a careful reading of primary sources. You should avoid quoting secondary sources. Your evidence must come from primary sources.Each paper is due at the beginning of the next new unit. All primary-source readings are on the course Blackboard page. Your paper should attempt to explain the main point of the text and incorporate the course themes, where appropriate. Each unit has contrasting texts on a given subject. In the case where a text is short, you may want to have more than one reading to support an idea on one side of the argument and one or more on the other. On the other hand, many texts are over ten pages and represent an idea well; thus, using only two contrasting sources, in this case, would fulfill the assignment.Each response (answer) to questions must quote several times (minimum of three per source) from each primary source as evidence, using footnotes (Chicago Manual of Style, CMS). Refer to the MLA Handbook for assistance with formatting your paper and citing your sources. A helpful website hosted by Purdue University, http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/717/01/, can help with your citations. Generally, your footnotes will comport with the following format: author’s name (first time, First Last), the title of the book (italicized) or “title of the article” (quotation marks), then source (in this case the source is SHU Blackboard), page number (just the number, no page or p.), then the date you accessed this source. Use the Insert Footnote function to create Footnotes in Microsoft Word. In general, all books, journals, magazines, etc. that are published on their own should be italicized in a text, notes, and bibliography. Any title that is a part of a larger work, such as articles in journals or chapters in books, should have quotation marks at the beginning and end of the title (not italicized).

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