History Essay Using Primary Sources

This guide is meant to help you learn how to search for primary sources.

Not every primary source will be available online or in digital form.

These guidelines will help you in writing any short essay. Discuss the sub-themes that you identified in the introductory paragraph, in separate paragraphs. Write down page numbers of the book (document reader or textbook) that you're going to use to support these sub-themes. Then you want to make sure that the last sentence of each paragraph, flows into the first sentence of the following paragraph.

1) Before reading the documents, write down the assigned question that you are going to address in your paper. The purpose of this exercise is to get you thinking about what your answer will be, before you begin reading. Meanwhile, jot down any evidence from the documents that you might want to use in the paper. Write a lead sentence that gains the reader's attention. Example: The American Revolutionary War was less of a social revolution than it was a fight for economic autonomy. Introduce sub-arguments or sub-themes that you are going to use to support your thesis. —Try to eliminate words that connote a sense of hesitation (e.g., maybe, might, perhaps, possibly) unless you absolutely have to use them as qualifying language.

In other words, this is the source where any given information first appeared.

For instance, if a scientific study is performed, the primary source is the initial report that is prepared by the scientist(s) who performed the research.All of these sources can be classified as either primary or secondary sources.Primary Source: A primary source is an original study, document, object, or eyewitness account.You might want to compare this document to others that are similar, or you might analyze reactions to it in past and present. Use a one-inch margin on all sides, and double-space the text. If you cite a source or use a quotation, you must document this with an endnote, a footnote, or parenthetical citation (also known as social science notation). Avoid monotonous vocabulary and vary your sentence structure. Use transitions to link your ideas from one paragraph to the next. Thesis: Your paper should have a clear and unambiguous thesis. Because the majority of your paper will analyze one document, a separate bibliography is not required for this paper.The type of document that you choosepolitical, social, artistic, economic, philosophical, religious, up to you. A good thesis usually makes an argument rather than simply stating the obvious (e.g., Olympe de Gouges Declaration of the Rights of Woman in 1791 was an early call for gender equality and womens political rights but most of Europe did not accept these ideas for another century, Sources: The UML Library contains a wealth of resources; the Reference Librarian Ron Karr can help you. If you cite other scholars interpretations of that document, then you must cite them as well.Select a source in which you are genuinely interested, and which has enough substance to justify a 5 pp. summarize the content of the document (not more than 25% of the paper); and it should analyze the documents importance in modern world history. In my office, you might consult one or more of the following to browse for ideas: Andrea and Overfield, The Human Record, vol. of historical research - they are the documents or artifacts closest to the topic of investigation.Often they are created during the time period which is being studied (correspondence, diaries, newspapers, government documents, art) but they can also be produced later by eyewitnesses or participants (memoirs, oral histories).You may find primary sources in their original format (usually in an archive) or reproduced in a variety of ways: books, microfilm, digital, etc.Topic: Select one primary source from the time period 1750-2000 that is (or will be) historically significant. It does not have to be complex or brilliantly original, but it must unify the information presented in your paper. However, you should explain what version/edition of the primary source you are studying, so that other scholars could consult it.


Comments History Essay Using Primary Sources

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