Document Based Assignment (100 points)
Objective: Students will select a person during the time period of this course and through source material they will demonstrate how he/she played a significant role in shaping history.
Execution: What is a Document Based Analysis?
The purpose of writing a document-based assignment is for you to discover, interpret, analyze and utilize specific documents in order to address a specific topic. This type of writing parallels the writing in professional, scholarly history books: the writing is thesis-driven and evidence-based. It seeks to provide substantial evidence in support of a particular position that is established in the thesis. Keep in mind that your answer to the assignment’s question is your thesis. It usually appears in the first paragraph of the essay. Be sure to include all points that you will make in your paper in your first paragraph. A reader should be able to outline the rest of your paper just from the thesis.
The document-based analysis is like other academic writing in history in that it shows how the topic under discussion relates to the time period of your focus. You should, therefore, keep your focus on the documents’ historical context (rather than on contemporary issues) and seek to answer this question: Why did this topic matter to people at that time?
Your primary audience is your professor and perhaps your classmates. However, you should write with an academic audience in mind that is knowledgeable about history, but not necessarily a specialist in the documents you are analyzing.
A few more tips..
The sources you used for the Primary Source Analysis should be used in the Document Based Assignment but into essay format.
Explain the context of your evidence and avoid lengthy description or summary of documents. It is better to find a quote that illustrates the point that you want to make but be sure to explain why or how the quote supports your argument.
Document Based Analysis is not opinion writing but a close examination of primary and secondary sources that provide supporting evidence and support the essay prompt as well as the thesis.
For further information please review this tutorial on source documents: How to Find, Analysis, Interpret and Use Source Information.pdf
Proper Chicago style format with full name, date, title and citations
2 to 3 pages but not to exceed 4 pages. 12 pt, normal margins, Times Roman, double spaced. The title and citation/bib page are not included in the page count;)
The use of at least 5 to 7 primary sources and 3 secondary sources plus additional references. Usage of sources from each weeks discussion is strongly encouraged if they pertain to your topic.
Content- 55 Points Possible:
Student clearly understood the assignment prompt. 2 pts.
Student utilized the assigned number of resources and included SOURCE DOCUMENTS from the discussions. 5 pts
Demonstrated a solid understanding of material through higher order thinking, research and class content. 20 pts.
Created a solid thesis, in bold, followed in a clear and easily identifiable process throughout paper! 10 pts.
Content is appropriately used to buttress every point with examples that support the thesis statement. 10 pts.
Correct integration of quoted, paraphrased, and statistical material into paragraphs with the proper Chicago Style in text citations, foot notes, and bibliography. 8 pts
Analysis and Logic- 35 Pints Possible:
Analysis is fresh and exciting, posing new ways to think of the material and novel connections are made to outside material.