Overview: The Journal of Documents, which is the second longer-format assignment of this course, gives us opportunities to work with the building blocks that form history. By definition,primary sources are written documents and non-written objects created by persons living awhile ago, which can be used in order to reconstruct the past. Such items allow today’s readers and viewers to connect with the ideas, points of view, lifestyles and material conditions of earlier generations. Carefully utilized, primary sources ultimately give users clearer insights into human nature, the practices we do and the objects we use today. By noting differences and similarities, primary sources can help us to build an appreciation of diversity and to understand ourselves and our world better in the present time.
Assignment goals: This assignment, weighted as 35% of your course grade, will look carefully at the primary document, a source written by a person of an earlier generation and originally intended (usually) for use by a contemporary.
This paper has the following objectives in mind:
- To unearth lifestyles and worldviews of people from the past, as seen in primary sources.
- To gain skills that can help us to explore documents for history courses.
- To see how a study of the past can help us to better understand ourselves today.
The term journal,in this case, is not to a day-to-day recollecting of one’s life, but a somewhat more casual approach to historical content associated with this course. You will summarize a few aspects that you believe to be important from select documents. Furthermore, your analysis will involve comparing and contrasting selected aspects of these sources, as well as stating your overall personal opinion about these sources.
Instructions: Except for chapters 10 and 11 (which cover content relevant to Hist. 110A), select any ONE other chapter (12-21) from Pollard, Concise Edition, Vol. 2, then prepare to cover some of the documents SOLELY from that chapter. (Because content in each chapter is grouped thematically, you will NOT be allowed to select documents from more than one chapter. Furthermore, extra credit is not available for this assignment.) After selecting a chapter, pick ANY THREE written primary sources from that chapter. All of the source material will be located at the end of your selected chapter. Written sources will be grouped under the heading, “Competing Perspectives.”
There are a few things you should do before examining the written sources. You will need to know what to look/read for in order to best tackle the written sources. First, read the introduction to each of the documents you selected. Written by Pollard and her co-authors, the document introduction will furnish much information: authorship, purpose of the document, societal