LENGTH: 2-4 pages. It is the student’s responsibility (and judgment) to provide an appropriate amount of content to support and develop the thesis statement.
Practice close and critical reading of primary sources.Recognize the relationship between a document and its historical context, and apply this to the analysis.Craft a clear and concise argument that expresses a unique stance on the value/meaning of the source material.
VITAL INFORMATION: FAILURE TO COMPLY WILL RESULT IN ‘ZERO’
Only assignments submitted on Canvas as a Word or PDF file will be accepted.Footnotes MUST be provided. Absence of footnotes is automatic zero and will be considered for an Academic Alert.Late assignments will be penalized 1/3 grade on day 1, 2/3 on day 2, 1 full grade on day 3 and zero after that. Only medical exceptions will be considered.Assignments that only use encyclopedia or popular internet material will be given ‘zero’. Submissions MUST follow the instructions for sources.WLC Reports are ALWAYS recommended. Ask about citations, thesis statement and topic sentences first. Upload the report when you submit assignments on Canvas (do not email).
Times New Roman 12pt font. Double Spaced. Page numbers in top right of page.CMS style footnotes and bibliography for ALL assignments. (does not count for paper length).SEPARATE Title Page, including the title of the essay, your name, student number, instructor name, course and date of submission.Refer to the Cookbook Essay Format outline, available on Canvas, if you need help organizing your ideas and paragraphs.
Background research: Use popular secondary sources (Wikipedia, textbooks etc) to find an interesting topic to research. NONE OF THIS SHOULD END UP IN THE ESSAY.Document Selection: Must be a PRIMARY SOURCE for your research question.Go to one of the following databases of primary sources:Modern History Sourcebook at Fordham University: https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/mod/modsbook.asp (Links to an external site.)Hanover Historical Texts Project at Hanover College: https://history.hanover.edu/project.php (Links to an external site.)Marxists Internet Archive: https://www.marxists.org/ (Links to an external site.)Choose ONE SUBSTANTIAL work or TWO SMALLER extracts on the same topic. It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to choose an appropriate amount of source material for this project.Additional Research:Additional research should be used CAUTIOUSLY. Internet sources can be used to clarify your own knowledge of people, events and concepts. This MUST NOT BE A LARGE PART OF THE ASSIGNMENT.ALL SOURCES MUST BE PROPERLY CITED, including both quotations and paraphrasing. Never, under any circumstances, use material from a source without acknowledgement. (Don’t trade a minor mistake for an Academic Alert).
VALUABLE WRITING ADVICE (FAQ)
Use the WLC to develop your writing and argument. Grammar is not important, as long as your ideas are clearly expressed.Carefully select quotes and only use them when the author’s SPECIFIC words are necessary to prove your point. ALL QUOTES REQUIRE EXPLANATION.TIP: use separate sentences for evidence and explanation, to clearly distinguish what your sources say and what you are arguing.Contextualize the document: what type of source is it, who created it and what does it say? Explain how this context affects the content of the document.Consider the motivations and priorities of the creator. What in the document can prove your theory about the motives?IMPORTANT: Think about the chronological context (dates) and how this influences the document/creator. Why is it important for the creator to express these ideas at this particular time?DO NOT DESCRIBE EVERYTHING. History is about choices and priorities. Use only the evidence that is necessary to defend your thesis statement. No more. No less.
FOCUS QUESTION: Your thesis statement should contain your answer to this question and the reasons for it.
Why are these specific documents important for our understanding of European history?