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Primary Sources Essay 1350 Western Civilization to 1500 Course Instructor: Dr. Dale Barbour Winter 2022 Primary Sources Essay is due February 17, 11:59 PM (CST) on UMLearn. The primary source essay will be 1,500 words in length and will consider what a set of primary documents can tell us about the society that produced them. Due date: February 17, 11:59 PM (CST) on UMLearn Word limit: 1,500 words Value: 20 per cent Submission format: You’ll be submitting to UMLearn. The file name for the document should be as follows: SURNAME Given name Assign # HIST1350 Late assignments: Marks on late assignment will be reduced by three (3) percentage points for each day they are late including Saturday and Sunday. (So, an assignment that is one day late and had received a mark of 75 per cent will be reduced to 72 per cent.) You are welcome to request an extension prior to the assignment deadline. Prompt Question: You’ll find a series of specific essay topics below. But all of them work with this fundamental question: What do these primary documents reveal about the society or historical period that produced them? Your Sources: For your assignment you will be using primary documents drawn from: Lualdi, Katharine J. Sources of The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures, Sixth Edition: Volume I. Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2019. Interpreting your Sources: You can and should use your textbook, as a secondary source, to help interpret your primary sources: Hunt, Lynn, Thomas R. Martin, Barbara H. Rosenwein, Bonnie G. Smith. The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures: Sixth edition. Volume 1 to 1750. Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2019. You can also draw on our lectures and PowerPoints. No other sources are required. Rationale Historians write about the past using two types of evidence: primary evidence and secondary evidence. Primary evidence (or “primary sources”) includes any work that was written, drawn, or produced by an eyewitness to an historical event or episode. The category can embrace a wide variety of different types of works: diaries, letters, financial records, newspaper accounts, literary works, legal documents, artwork and even material culture. Secondary sources are those which have been written as a conscious reflection on a historical event or process. They are generally composed some time after the event they seek to explain or describe. Thus, secondary works encompass anything written by an amateur or professional historian. Secondary works can include: books and scholarly journal articles, monographs and textbooks, etc. For this assignment, you’ll be working with primary documents. Consider these sort of questions when interpreting the primary documents: Who is the author, and what is his/her/their main motivation for writing the document? Which issues, events, and themes does/do the author/s emphasize? Who is the intended readership—that is, in writing the document which individuals/groups was the author attempting to reach (and, perhaps, influence)? And, lastly, what does the document reveal about the era in which it was written—that is, what can the document tell us about the historical period in which it was composed? You can use the text book as a secondary source to help interpret your Primary sources. (The Sources of the Making of the West book will also provide you with some context for the sources you’re looking at. You’re welcome to use that context material) Primary Sources Essay Topics: You can choose to write your essay on one of these topics: Athens and Sparta are familiar names in the history of Western Civilization: What can these two documents tell us about the differences between the two ancient cities? Sources of the Making of the West, Chapter 2: SOURCES IN CONVERSATION | Tyrtaeus of Sparta and Solon of Athens, Poems (Seventh–Sixth Centuries B.C.E.) The Golden Age of Athens: What can these two documents tell us about the Golden Age of Athens and the attitudes that underpinned it? Sources of the Making of the West, Chapter 3: Thucydides, The Funeral Oration of Pericles (429 B.C.E.), Hippocrates of Cos, On the Sacred Disease (400 B.C.E.) What was the role of women in Greek Society? For this essay you can tap three different sources: a court trial, the script from a comedic play, and an overhead view of a Greek house that demonstrates the gendered divisions that men and women lived by within that house. Sources of the Making of the West, Chapter 3: Euphiletus, A Husband Speaks in His Own Defense (c. 400 B.C.E.) and Overhead Views of a House on the North Slope of the Areopagus (Fifth Century B.C.E.), Aristophanes, Lysistrata (411 B.C.E.) History isn’t just written by great people, it’s also carved or written out as graffiti by unnamed individuals, or left as epitaphs to commemorate lost loved ones. What can these sources tell us about life in the Hellenistic Period and in the Roman Empire? Sources of the Making of the West, Chapter 4: Funerary Inscriptions and Epitaphs (Fifth–First Centuries B.C.E.) Sources of the Making of the West, Chapter 6: Notices and Graffiti Describe Life in Pompeii (First Century C.E.) What do these sources reveals about the struggles and divisions between the rich and the poor in the Roman Empire? Sources of the Making of the West, Chapter 5: Livy, Roman Women Demonstrate against the Oppian Law (195 B.C.E.) and Plutarch, The Gracchan Reforms (133 B.C.E.) What can law codes reveals about a society? You’re welcome to draw from either the Code of Hammurabi or the Roman Twelve Tables or both. (Don’t feel you have to compare and contrast the two law codes: you would need stronger secondary sources for that.) Sources of the Making of the West, Chapter 1: King Hammurabi, The Code of Hammurabi (Early Eighteenth Century B.C.E.) and Sources of the Making of the West, Chapter 5: The Twelve Tables (451–449 B.C.E.) This topic is your choice. However, it must draw on at least two primary sources from the Sources of the Making of the West, Chapters 1 to 7 and you should confirm the topic with me prior to going ahead with the essay. Format The essay should develop a main argument, and should include an introduction, a clear thesis statement, a “body,” and a conclusion. Students will be evaluated on the quality of their interpretations; on the thoroughness of their analyses; and on the clarity of their writing. Your theses, argument and conclusion will be based on evidence derived from the sources. In order to prove that your claims stem from the text (and that you haven’t misread them or invented claims that lack a solid evidentiary basis), you must provide citations for your evidence (i.e., footnotes or endnotes). Your footnotes should conform to Chicago Style Citation. For the first reference to any text, you should provide a footnote/endnote that contains all the necessary bibliographic information that a reader might need to find the text. It should be arranged like this: 1. King Hammurabi, “The Code of Hammurabi (Early Eighteenth Century B.C.E.)” cited in Sources of The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures, Sixth Edition: Volume I ed. Katharine J. Lualdi (Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2019), 7. This page number will change depending on what page you are citing. Subsequent references adopt a short-form. They should look like this: 2. Hammurabi, “The Code of Hammurabi,” 8. This page number will change depending on what page you are citing. If the author of the text is unknown, the footnote should use the form “Anon.” (for “anonymous”) and it should be written like this: 3. Anon, “The Twelve Tables (451–449 B.C.E.)” cited in Sources of The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures, Sixth Edition: Volume I ed. Katharine J. Lualdi (Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2019), 80. This page number will change depending on what page you are citing. Subsequent footnote: 4. Anon, “The Twelve Tables,” 82. This page number will change depending on what page you are citing. You should also cite the textbook if you are using it. It will look like this 5. Lynn Hunt, Thomas R. Martin, Barbara H. Rosenwein, Bonnie G. Smith. The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures: Sixth edition. Volume 1 to 1750. (Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2019.), 33. This page number will change depending on what page you are citing. Subsequent footnote: 6. Hunt, The Making of the West, 45. Note footnote/endnotes are numbered sequentially from the start of your essay until the end. Footnotes/endnotes should include page numbers where possible: even electronic versions of the books will generally include page numbers that you can cite. Chicago Manual of Style guidelines can also be found online at: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide/citation-guide-1.html In addition to footnotes, your paper should include a title page and bibliography. The title page should include only the following elements. 1) the title of your paper, 2) your name, 3) the course number and section, 4) the date of submission. The title should be centered and placed about one third of the way down from the top of the page. The other information should be listed in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. A bibliography is a list of all the items you used in preparing your essay. It is placed at the end of your paper. The works should be listed in alphabetical order according to the authors’ surname. For your bibliography you should include your primary sources and the course textbook. The bibliography will look like this: Hunt, Lynn, Thomas R. Martin, Barbara H. Rosenwein, Bonnie G. Smith. The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures: Sixth edition. Volume 1 to 1750. Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2019. Lualdi, Katharine J. Sources of The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures, Sixth Edition: Volume I. Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2019. You should number your pages, beginning with the first page of text (i.e., the title page should not be numbered). NOTE: When handing in your assignment be sure to include your name in the file’s name. Grading: Your essay will be graded based on the following criteria: A clear thesis statement in your introduction Well-structured essay that conveys your argument Use and interpretation of the primary sources Clarity of writing throughout Proper citation and style Additional Information and tips Your primary sources essay will follow the format of a research essay and any good research essay should have the following ingredients: An argument: An excellent essay is more than just a collection of details and facts. You’re constructing a clear argument. In this case you’ll be looking to prove what your primary sources say about a historical period or event. Different people may make different interpretations based on the same primary sources. Key, is that your argument will be backed up by evidence that you’ve drawn from the primary sources. Clear introduction/thesis statement: A clear and concise thesis statement is your summary of what your essay is going to prove. You should put it in your introduction. That way the reader knows exactly where the essay is headed. Essay body: You should build your argument step by step. Use your paragraphs to frame each point of your argument. There should be a logical and clear flow to your essay. There is no set number of paragraphs that you should be using but generally short concise paragraphs are better than paragraphs that stretch on for a page or more. If you find that your essay has paragraphs that stretch to a page in length or longer, reassess them and break them down into smaller more tightly focuses paragraphs. Conclusion: You can use your conclusion to summarize what your essay has proven and why you think it’s important. But remember, don’t wait until the end to tell me what you’re going to prove; state that right at the beginning in the introduction. Working with sources: Working with primary sources is slow methodical work. You need to read through a primary source carefully to get a feel for what it is saying and to get a sense of its author’s opinion or intention. And remember, you are working with documents that capture people’s opinions, biases, and prejudices. When we read material written by Christopher Columbus we’re getting his interpretation of what he found in the Americas; another writer might have described something quite different. May I use “I”? In the olden days students were told never to use “I” in a research essay; the rules have loosened and you may in this class. But use the first person judiciously. Save it for when you really are expressing your judgment and your interpretation of material. 6




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