Think about the purpose of the source. We will know from the essay format that this is your own viewpoint. Once permission has been granted you may proceed with final work on the assignment. How does that affect the source? History How to Analyze a Primary Source When you analyze a primary source, you are undertaking the most important job of the historian.
In order to analyze a primary source you need information about two things: Below I have listed a few of my personal peccadilloes about style and grammar. If the work does not have footnotes or bibliography it is probably not credible.
On your own you need to think about the document itself. Be sure, too, that you have worked through the brief Williams U. You will be asked to come up with a list of three or four potential primary sources a week before the final assignment is due.
For biographical information the American National Biography collection is good. The publication date of the source must be within these dates.
Do not use them: The essay asks and answers a good question. Do not start sentences with the word "however. Look at the physical nature of your source.
Seek instead to find something that you or the rest of the class would not have encountered in some other context.
Second, you should place the document into its historical context. Avoid encyclopedias, blogs, or magazines addressed to a popular audience. Avoid passive constructions such as "it was," and "it has been.
Remember that there is no one right interpretation. How does the author try to get the message across? What are the benefits of using this kind of source? What questions can this source NOT help you answer?
Researching and Writing the Essay: Be very confident that nothing newer exists before relying on these older materials. Who were the audiences? See this brief explanation of bibliography mining if you are unfamiliar with this technique.
Was it written on fancy paper in elegant handwriting, or on scrap-paper, scribbled in pencil? You may not use documents that are relatively common and widely known.
Who constituted the intended audience? What can a careful reading of the text even if it is an object tell you? In your opinion, does this source support or challenge their argument?
The essay should accomplish two goals. Is the message explicit, or are there implicit messages as well? Tell us everything you can think of that makes this document historically significantwith some attention to priority and ranking of these factors.
What about the silences--what does the author choose NOT to talk about?When you analyze a primary source, you are undertaking the most important job of the historian. There is no better way to understand events in the past than by examining the sources--whether journals, newspaper articles, letters, court case records, novels, artworks, music or autobiographies--that.
Michael Smith» Documents» HIST History of American Photo Galleries; Site Map; Michael Smith. Associate Professor, Department of History Faculty, School of Humanities and Sciences Faculty, Graduate Study in Education Faculty, Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences Faculty, Honors Program.
Model Primary Source Analysis. Words and Deeds in American History: Selected Documents Celebrating the Manuscript Division's First Years In honor of the Manuscript Division's centennial, its staff has selected for online display approximately ninety representative documents spanning from the fifteenth century to the mid-twentieth century.
Primary Source Documents Pertaining to Early American History An invaluable collection of historical works which contributed to the formation of American politics, culture, and ideals The following is a massive collection of the literature and documents which were most relevant to the colonists' lives in America.
At Ashbrook, we teach about America by using original historical documents. We believe this list of 50 core documents provides an essential starting point for students, teachers, and citizens to think more deeply about what it means to be an mi-centre.com more.
the national museum of american history is committed to helping teachers information from the written word. to be most useful, documents must be studied carefully and critically. Engaging StudEntS with Primary SourcES 9. general documents: Strengths and .Download