Common Core Assignment: Primary Source-Based Paper
Goals of this Paper: The purpose of this assignment is to advance your ability to reason through a specific historical question and to express your ideas in writing. Thus:
Your paper should briefly introduce your paper’s topic or question and provide a thesis statement. In a paper of this size, your introduction and thesis statement should appear on the first page, in the paper’s first paragraph.
Your paper should show that you reasoned through the evidence in a fair-minded way. In other words you should state (paraphrase) what your evidence says and not what you wish it said or think it should say. You need to state the evidence fairly, even if you think it wrong or offensive.
Your paper should use evidence to answer the historical question. You need to explain how the evidence answers the question. The easiest way to figure this is to think through your evidence and argument using one or more of the key concepts for this course.
Your paper should briefly explain an implication or limitation of your analysis. For an implication, you might consider how your analysis sheds light on one of the course’s key terms. For a limitation, you might note which key concepts your analysis does not (or cannot) address.
Your paper should develop and organize your thoughts clearly and logically. Outlining is a necessary, but not required, step in writing a well-organized paper.
Your paper should draw a conclusion that addresses the paper’s chief topic or question and that states your answer to the question or your contribution to the topic.
Length –around 750 words (approximately 2 ½-3 pages)
Citation – parenthetical (cite the author’s name and the name of the work in parentheses at the end of the sentence in which you cite the text. I believe the way to do this is thus: (Sinclair, The Jungle http://www.online-literature.com/upton_sinclair/jungle/14/). I think you only need to cite the web page the first time; in subsequent citations, (i.e. Sinclair, The Jungle) should be sufficient. If I learn any differently, I will let you know.
Choose a primary source or a set of primary sources from the list provided (You will use the excerpt from The Jungle; the link is above). A primary source is “raw history,” i.e., a document or object produced during the historical period under study. What does your primary source, or set of primary sources, suggest about the particular time and place in which it was produced? What assumptions on the part of the author are evident in the source, and how did the author’s audience seem to influence the choices he or she made in authoring this piece of history? Support your analysis with specific evidence from the primary source(s) under examination. Required Sources: Excerpt from Upton Sinclair’s Jungle