I don’t know how to handle this History question and need guidance.
A primary historical source is a document that was created during the past by a person (or persons) who lived during that period. Primary sources are the building blocks of history!
Select any ONE of the below primary sources that interests you and, after reading the source, write an analytical essay in which you summarize the main points of the article (this should take about 2/3 of your essay) and then analyze/critique the source (about 1/3 of your essay).
Try to answer at least some of the following questions in your essay:
Who is the author of your chosen source? What is the time period of the source and what is the topic? What might this article tell a researcher about the time period? What is he/she trying to say? What is his/her point of view? Does he/she make a convincing case? Why or why not? What does the author leave out (if anything)? Does the author exhibit a particular bias? Is there anything in this source that might be relevant to the world today?
Note: Depending on the source you choose, not all of the above questions may be relevant. Answer those which are relevant to your source.
Try to select a document/source that interests you. If it is a topic/person that you are unfamiliar with, be sure to do at least a little research to give you a better background for analyzing the source. If you would like to use additional sources (internet web sites, books, periodicals, etc.,) you are more than welcome to, as long as your focus is on the primary source. Your essay should consist of two sections: a summary of the article and then an analysis of the article.
In writing your essay, you should follow the below guidelines:
- Your essay should be a MINIMUM of 850 words (it can be longer if you like).
- Your completed essay should consist of a summary (about 2/3 of your essay) and an analysis (roughly 1/3).
- All persons, events, concepts in your paper should be introduced/explained clearly…in other words, write your essay as if your audience was another student!
- Your essay should follow the basic style guidelines for MLA, APA or Chicago (your choice).
- Your essay should have a cover page and bibliography page in your chosen style (these pages do NOT count towards the essay length).
- Your essay should be double-spaced with #12 fonts and 1-inch margins.
- The essay needs to be written entirely in your own words. Use quotes very sparingly and only to highlight a point you are trying to make. Quoted material does NOT count towards the length of your essay.
- Your essay needs to be neatly written and grammatically correct (points will be deducted for sloppy papers).
CHOOSE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING TOPICS BELOW
PRIMARY SOURCES (select one by clicking on the link next to it):
An analysis of the Monroe Doctrine by Alfred T. Mahan
An account of the building of the Erie Canal by William Seward
An account of the deaths of Adams and Jefferson by Thomas Hart Benton
President Jackson’s proclamation during the Nullification Crisis.
An account of the battle by a contemporary.
John L. O’Sullivan urges westward expansion.
Excerpts of resolutions from the Seneca Falls Convention.
The treaty which ended the Mexican-American War.
A speech by Douglass, given on the Fourth of July.
The comprise resolutions as put forth by Henry Clay.
The full act as passed by Congress in 1854.
Chief Justice Roger Taney’s decision in this famous case.
Jefferson Davis’ farewell address to the Senate after his state (Mississippi) seceded in 1861. He soon became president of the Confederacy.
Abraham Lincoln’s first address to the country as president.
Excerpts of the Confederate Constitution as ratified in 1861.
An account of the battle from Mary Chesnut’s diary.
A report by Robert E. Lee on this epic battle and the failure of his first invasion of the North.
A Union veteran remembers Christmas, 1862 on campaign in Virginia.
Lincoln’s proclamation as issued on 1 Jan 1863.
A poignant letter written about the loss of a friend during the Atlanta Campaign.
A grim account of General Hood’s disastrous charge at Franklin, TN in 1864.
President Lincoln’s address after his second swearing in, 1865.