Question: Choose a total of two sources from the accompanying PDF. Then, discuss what the document(s) teaches or indicates about the time period in which it was written.

  • This should be an ANALYSIS, not a summary of the source.


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  • You will write two short essays. Choose two primary sources from the PDF posted above.
  • These are formal essay They each require a thesis supported by evidence, and a conclusion that brings your argument together at the end to remind the reader of your evidence.
  • Each essay should be AT LEAST 1.5 pages, Times New Roman font, double-spaced, one-inch margins. For an A grade, each essay will likely be longer that 1.5 pages.
  • You must consult at least one academic source from the NOVA libraries related to your topic and include that in a bibliography after each essay. The bibliography does not count toward the length requirement.


Things to include:

  1. Historical context: use your book, notes and encyclopedias and sources from the NOVA libraries website. Make sure to indicate:
    • When
    • Where
    • What was happening at the time.
    • Be specific. Include names, dates and details for each source that you choose.
    • Discuss the organization of the society where the document was written.


  1. Introduction of the source
    • Provide the title of the source
    • Identify the author of the source by name, date and position


  1. Body paragraphs:
    • Build your body paragraphs around particular quotes that you choose.


  1. Conclusion:
    • Do not write “In conclusion”.
    • Just make a statement that reiterates you key point: what the document teaches.



Outline: How to structure your exam essays


  1. Introduction Paragraph
    • State when and where and what was happening this document was made
      • Describe in several sentences with details
    • State the title of the document.
    • State who wrote the document and who they are. Provide background information about this individual.
    • State whether they are a reliable source, or state the bias that they had about the topic.
    • Thesis:
      • This will end the paragraph.
      • This is the main point of the rest of your essay.
      • Be specific.
      • Make an argument that you will support in your body paragraphs with quotes from the source(s)


  1. Body paragraphs
    • Build each body paragraph around the quotes you choose from your source which supports your argument. Include historical details related to the quotes like you did in your primary source exercises.


  1. Conclusion Paragraph
    • This can be very short. Make a short statement here that ties your argument and the sources together. Restate your thesis and mention how the primary source quotes supported it in the essay.
    • Do not write “In conclusion.”



Appendix: Analyzing Primary Sources


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