Please answer questions separately. There is no need for citations, quotes or bibliography in this assignment. You are evaluating the assigned primary source by answering the given questions. You may write as much as you need to in your answers, there is no word restrictions. The focus here is not on word count, it is on your evaluation of the primary source by answering the given questions.
Please answer questions separately. There is no need for citations, quotes or bibliography in this assignment. You are evaluating the assigned primary source by answering the given questions. You may
Evaluating Primary Source 21.1 pages 915-916 Fall 2021 Please read “The Power of the Powerless” (1978), Vaclav Havel and answer questions SEPARATELY. Who created the document? If it was written by an individual, what is the background and social status of that person? Is the person neutral, or might he or she have had opinions or beliefs that influenced his or her writing? If the document was written by a government body or corporation, you should also question whether that organization is neutral or not. How does the author know what happened? Did the individual or group take part in or witness the event? Or is the document based on what others saw and heard? What does the answer imply about the document’s credibility? When and where was the document created? Historians judge historical documents according to the time and place rule—the closer in time and place an author and source were to an event, the more reliable that source might be. A historical document created during the event or immediately after it is usually more reliable than a document created many years after the event took place. In what historical context was the document created? It is important to know this because the author might have been influenced by the beliefs and attitudes of that time. Is the historical document like or different from other primary sources created at that time? What is the main point that the author is discussing? What evidence does the author use to support this point? What is the tone of the document? Remember that authors may use sarcasm or jokes or exaggeration in their writings. Why was the document created? Did the author want to inform or persuade others? Remember that the author of a document is writing about an event from his or her viewpoint or may even be trying to convince you that something happened or needs to happen. As you read, keep the bias rule in mind, which states that every source is biased, or writing about an event from his or her viewpoint, in some way. Read the document carefully and critically. Are there any words that lead you to believe that the source is biased? After you have finished reading the historical document, compare it against other primary and secondary sources to determine whether the information is reliable and accurate. Remember that even though an author may be biased, the historical document can still contain much valuable information. If the document is a translation from a different language, ask yourself similar questions about the translator: Does the translator have a viewpoint or agenda? What are his or her credentials? When was the translation created? Are other translations of the same original text available for comparison? What was the purpose of the original historic document? Was it meant for a large audience, like a law or a court decision? Or was it a personal source meant for a very small audience, like a letter or a diary? Remember that even a published document may not be accurate. An unpublished document may provide crucial and fascinating details about an event because the author assumed it would never be seen by the public. Who was the intended or likely audience? What do you know about the audience? How is this document interpreted today? Does your knowledge of the event affect your interpretation of the document?
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