I have detailed some instruction for the paper bellow and have provided you with the two primary sources as well as some material from the book ( chapters 27, 28, 29, 38), for historical context.
Here are some direction for the paper
A five-page analysis of two primary sources (primary documents) on Mexico that you have been assigned
Writing about at least two primary sources on a related topic.
Double spaced, one-inch margins, no bigger than 12 point font.
Provide the very important historical context for your own primary source analysis.
Develop your deep and penetrating analysis of the contributions your primary sources make to our understanding of the topic you’re addressing. Examples: native peoples, the conquest, warfare, native/Spanish relations during the colonial period, religion, religious conversion, slavery, gender relations, revolutions, war, land reform, student movements, economic dislocation
When writing the paper follow this format:
In the introduction to your paper, you’ll introduce your primary sources and tell me briefly about their importance to the history of this region.
In this introduction, you will also lay out yourthesis- this is a statement you can prove on the basis of the evidence you’ve gathered before you. In this case, on the basis of your primary sources (first and foremost) as well as the secondary sources you’ll be using to provide historical context (our textbook and our lecture material).
Next, tell me all about your primary source. Who wrote it? What is it about? What specific insights does it provide into the history of this region at this time?
Contextualization (historical context): Here is where you’ll place the documents in time and place to understand how those factors shaped its content. When and where your documents created? What was different then? What was the same? How might the circumstances in which your document was created affect its content?
Placing your documents into historical context is absolutely essential to this essay.Explain that document in the context in which it was written and in which those events unfolded (NOT in terms of present days norms and values- beware of applying today’s norms and values to what happened 500 years ago). How does this document fit into the larger historical narrative that we’ve been looking at? What was going on at the time these documents were written?What have we said in our lectures about your topic? What does our textbook say about the time period you’re looking at? What do our articles that I’ve given you say about the topic you’re examining? Cite our readings, reference our course material, including the secondary source material you’ve gathered on your topic and show complexity. I can help you at every step of the way. Our writing center also offers help.
Evaluating your Primary Sources. Now comes your analysis of the documents, where you will assess the strengths and weaknesses of each of your primary sources. Are all historical sources equally trustworthy? How might the reliability of a historical document be affected by the circumstances under which it was created? Are they reliable sources? Can you identify any biases? If we want as complete and accurate a picture of history as possible, does this type of document give us the full picture? If not, what other kind of sources do we need to consult to get that full picture? There is no such thing as a perfect primary source that can capture all aspects of a historical moment. What can we learn about this historical topic based on these sources? In what ways do these documents contribute to our understanding of the history of the region your documents deal with?
Sometimes documents can conceal a true understanding of the history of the region, or perpetuate negative stereotypes; or perpetuate falsehoods (like the “natives thought Spaniards were gods” trope); or perpetuate a simplistic view of events. If this is the case with yours, discuss this. Of course, sometimes they can do both.
For your conclusion: What are some unique insights that your primary sources provide us with about your topic? What are some broad generalizations we can make on the basis of the primary sources you’ve just examined?
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