Discussion History discussion Analysis Requirements History 102H: Interpreting the European Past Specifications for all analyses Each analysis is

Discussion History discussion Analysis Requirements
History 102H: Interpreting the European Past

Specifications for all analyses
Each analysis is graded pass (40 points) or fail (0 points). Analyses that do not meet the following specs will fail.
Analyses that fail may not be revised and resubmitted. Analyses that meet the specs but do not pass the grading
categories (see pages 2–3) can be revised until they pass and earn full credit (40 points).

LENGTH: 500-600 words (no more, no less), not including name, title, etc. Parenthetical citations do count toward the
wordcount.

QUOTATIONS: A quotation is two or more words borrowed directly from another author. Quotations are not required, and
usually it is best to put everything in your own words. If a quotation is absolutely necessary to make your point, no more
than ten words can be quoted from the assigned text. This is ten words total for the entire paper, not ten words per
quotation. If you copy two or more words from the text but do not put them in quotation marks, it is plagiarism and
grounds for failing the analysis. Do not use scare quotes.

CONTENT: You must make a good-faith effort to answer the prompt for each analysis.

OUTSIDE RESEARCH: All ideas must be entirely your own, based on your interpretation of the assigned texts listed in the
red box. You may not introduce ideas from the internet or from lectures, videos, or other assigned readings for class.

PLAGIARISM: There are two forms of plagiarism that are grounds for failing an assignment. 1) Paraphrasing plagiarism: this
is where you make slight changes to the assigned primary or secondary source, such as substituting synonyms for some
words, but you still rely on its language and structure instead of putting an idea entirely in your own words. 2) Outside
source plagiarism: this is where you copy ideas from the internet or some other source without giving credit to an author.

FORMAT: Analysis must be saved and submitted as a Microsoft Word file (.doc or .docx)

ASSIGNMENT PROMPTS

Module 1 (primary source): How does Pseudo-Xenophon think an ideal government should function?

Module 2 (primary source): Is Eusebius a biased source for the life of Constantine? Why or why not?

Module 3 (secondary source): Based on the two Taking Sides articles, what is Adrian Goldsworthy’s argument? What is
Peter Heather’s argument? Which argument did you find more persuasive?

Module 4 (secondary source): Based on the two Taking Sides articles, what is Margaret King’s argument? What is Joan
Kelly-Gadol’s argument? Which argument did you find more persuasive?

Module 5 (primary source): What does Frédéric Bastiat think is the proper relationship between the individual and the
state?

Module 6: (secondary source): Based on the two Taking Sides articles, what is Richard Stites’s argument? What is
François Navailh’s argument? Which argument did you find more persuasive?

Analysis Requirements page 2

Primary source analyses
One of the most important skills that we can learn by studying history is close reading.
This means reading between the lines to uncover details about the author’s perspective
on a subject, to flesh out unspoken assumptions, and to reveal common knowledge that
formed the background and original context for the text. Simply stated, the goal of
these primary source analyses is to read a text and then to make an argument about it.

For help understanding how to do a close reading of a primary source, see the close
reading sample in the assignments section of Blackboard or stop by my student hours.

Primary source analysis grading categories
Your assignment will be evaluated for each of the following categories. If three or more of the following categories are
not met, your assignment will be marked “needs work,” and it must be revised before it will receive credit. If no attempt
is made to follow the requirements in one or more of the following categories, the paper will be returned for revision
regardless of how well you did in the rest of the categories.

Thesis: Focused thesis offers insight into assigned primary source and directly responds to the assignment prompt. The
thesis must present a narrowly defined argument, not a list of ideas or a paraphrase of the assignment prompt. The thesis
cannot be a statement of fact or an obvious observation; it must be something that others can disagree with.

Argument: Analysis provides several specific explanations for why the thesis is true. This reasoning is thoughtful and
original. Insights demonstrate a thorough understanding of assigned primary source and assignment prompt. There are no
logical gaps or broad generalizations offered in support of the thesis. Everything in analysis is directly related to thesis.

Evidence: Analysis discusses relevant passages from the assigned primary source with a clear explanation of how each
passage supports the analysis’s argument. Each primary source passage must be analyzed through close reading (reading
between the lines) instead of merely summarizing, telling a story, or giving background information.

Citations: Analysis must contain at least 8 parenthetical citations. The only thing that goes in these parentheses is the
number printed on the page that you cited; do not include the author’s name or things like “page” or “p.” Each citation
must be to a different page. If you want to cite the same page more than once, you must include more than 8
citations so that at least 8 different pages are cited. Each citation may cite only one page.

Structure: The first sentence of the analysis must be your thesis. After the thesis, you must immediately begin your
argument and analysis of the primary source without starting a new paragraph. In other words, there is no introduction.
Paragraphs are neither short and choppy or so long that they cover multiple ideas at once. The analysis must include a
two-sentence conclusion (no more, no less) in a separate paragraph at the end of your paper. Transitions throughout the
analysis explain how parts of the argument relate to each other and to the thesis. Your name must appear on the top of
page 1. The first line of each paragraph must be indented, and the text must be left justified (Google this if you do not
know what it means).

Grammar: No more than 10 grammar or spelling mistakes as described on the grammar handout. Multiple examples of the
same mistake each count as a separate mistake.

Style: Analysis conveys the appropriate language and tone for a formal academic audience familiar with European history.
Analysis contains no examples of first-person (I, me, my, we, us, our) and second person (you, your), and does not address
questions or commands to the reader. Writer does not narrate the process of researching and writing the paper. Sentences
are well-constructed and sound natural, avoiding repeated errors in word choice and verb tense.

Historical conventions: Do not make a connection between the assigned text and the modern world or say that
something has always existed or has been true throughout time. Do not pass value judgements (e.g. saying something was
good, bad, unfair, or an improvement). Authors’ names, along with the names of people discussed in the text, must be
spelled correctly throughout. All of the material covered in the dates and definitions section of Lecture 1: The thing that is
history (assigned during the intro week) must be used correctly.

Analysis Requirements page 3

Secondary source analysis grading categories
When many people think of history, all that comes to mind is an endless list of names and
dates. In our modern world, all those names and dates are only a click away. Now, more than
ever, the job of the historian is not to be a treasure-trove of trivia about the past. Instead,
doing history is all about winning arguments!

For each secondary source analysis, you will read two articles from a series of books called
Taking Sides. These two articles have opposing arguments for how to interpret the available
evidence for a particular historical problem. The authors of all the articles that you will read are well-known and respected
professors who make strong, evidence-based arguments. It all boils down to which argument you find more persuasive.

Secondary source analysis grading categories
Your assignment will be evaluated for each of the following categories. If three or more of the following categories are
not met, your assignment will be marked “needs work,” and it must be revised before it will receive credit. If no attempt
is made to follow the requirements in one or more of the following categories, the paper will be returned for revision
regardless of how well you did in the rest of the categories.

Summary of first article: Analysis identifies the article’s thesis, the argument made in support of that thesis, and the
evidence used to prove that argument. The thesis must be explained in your own words, not quoted from the article.
Summary must focus on the author’s argument – what the author is trying to prove – rather than on topics mentioned in
the article.

Summary of second article: Same criteria as for summary of first article.

Evaluation: Analysis must provide at least one for reason why you found one article more persuasive, and at least one
reason for why you found the other article less persuasive. Your evaluation must focus on central elements of the author’s
argument and use of evidence rather than anything related to writing style or word choice. Your reason why Article X is
weaker than Article Y cannot be that Article X did not do the thing that you already said made Article Y stronger.

Citations: Analysis must contain at least 8 parenthetical citations. The only thing that goes in these parentheses is the
number printed on the page that you cited; do not include the author’s name or things like “page” or “p.” Each citation
must be to a different page. If you want to cite the same page more than once, you must include more than 8 citations
so that at least 8 different pages are cited. Each citation may cite only one page.

Structure: Your analysis must be exactly three paragraphs long; these three paragraphs are to be of roughly equal
length. The first paragraph summarizes the argument of the first article; its first sentence must identify the author’s thesis
in your own words. The second paragraph summarizes the argument of the second article; its first sentence must identify
the author’s thesis in your own words. The third paragraph gives your evaluation of the two articles; its first sentence must
explain which article you found most persuasive. Your name must appear on the top of page 1. The first line of each
paragraph must be indented, and the text must be left justified (Google this if you do not know what it means).

Style: Analysis conveys the appropriate language and tone for a formal academic audience familiar with European history.
Analysis contains no examples of first-person (I, me, my, we, us, our) and second person (you, your),
and does not address questions or commands to the reader. Writer does not narrate the process of
researching and writing the paper. Sentences are well-constructed and sound natural, avoiding
repeated errors in word choice and verb tense.

Historical conventions: Do not make a connection between the assigned text and the modern world or
say that something has always existed or has been true throughout time. Do not pass value judgements
(e.g. saying something was good, bad, unfair, or an improvement). The first time that you refer to a
modern scholar, use both the scholar’s first name and last name, without any title such as “professor” or
“doctor.” All subsequent references to the author must use only their last name. Never refer to a
scholar using only their first name. Authors’ names, along with the names of people discussed in the
article, must be spelled correctly throughout. All of the material covered in the dates and definition
section of Lecture 1: The thing that is history (assigned during the intro week) must be used correctly.

Grammar: No more than 10 grammar or spelling mistakes as described on the grammar handout.
Multiple examples of the same mistake each count as a separate mistake.

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