Primary Source Analysis Paper
March 31, 2023
Primary Source Analysis Paper
Assignment: Choose a primary source (or two to compare) from a subject that interests you related
to the histories covered in this course. Students will write a short essay interrogating various
aspects of the document including its creator, audience, purpose, influence, and biases. You can
also connect your analysis of the primary source to any relevant contemporary issues. Students
should place particular emphasis on the question:
What does this source tell us about one or some of the major themes in World History since
3400 BCE (labor, capitalism, race, gender, and violence)?
ASU’s Interrogating History Project: Your submission will be part of a new Albany State
University project tentatively titled: ASU’s Interrogating History Project. This will be a studentdriven project dedicated to discussing important historical documents. I will organize the project
submissions (your written & video essays) into a viewable format.
- This project can be an important contribution to your academic portfolio regardless of
your major—if you’re stuck, please work with me on finding a document(s) that will work
well for you and your goals.
- If you would prefer not to have your submission made public, that is perfectly acceptable
too. Being a part of ASU’s IHP is not mandatory.
Choosing a Document: You may choose one of the primary source documents from class, or
one within your own interests.
- The document must be at least 2-3 pages and be from the period 3400 BCE-1500 CE.
- Refer to the primary source databases provided on GaView for help locating sources.
- Sources must be approved with me by Week Five.
Foreign Language Sources: If you are fluent in a non-English language and would like to use a
primary source written in a non-English language, I encourage you to do so! This will be a
wonderful addition to what our class can accomplish and a tremendous way to use our outside
talents and abilities to help incorporate more voices and perspectives into the study of history.
Choose one option:
- Paper Option:
- This paper should be 1000-1250 words.
- All papers should be in Times New Roman 12 point font, with 1 inch margins.
- All papers must be submitted via GaView as a Microsoft Word Document no later than
Week Sixteen. (Please no PDFs).
- Outside secondary sources are not required for this assignment. If you decide to use any,
please use Chicago-Style footnote citations.1
- Please list your document information at the top of your essay in this format: Author.
Document Title (Document Date).
- You must include a link or copy of the document in use. Guidance on Chicago-style can be
found here and here.
- Video Option:
- Your recording should be in a .MOV format (or something similar).
- Your recording should be 7-10 minutes long and must follow the introductory script
Introductory Script: “My Name is __ and I am a [List
Major/Year in School] at Albany State University. Today I will be
examining [list name of primary source(s)].”
1 Footnotes should appear here/look like this.