History – Primary Source Analysis

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History – Primary Source Analysis
History – Primary Source Analysis
Primary Source Analysis First Step: Introduction 1. What type of source is it? (letter, diary, newspaper article, etc.) 2. Who is the author, and when and where was the source created? Find out about the background of the author, at which time and where s/he was living, to which social group s/he belonged, and whatever else might be relevant to understand the background of the source. Second Step: Summary Summarize the content of the source. Do so as “neutrally” as possible. This isn’t the place to evaluate the text or take a position toward the arguments presented in the source. This step exclusively serves to inform the reader of your analysis about the perspective/position presented by the author of the source. Third Step: Evaluation Place the source into its historical context. Do so by thinking about the specific historical circumstances under which the source came into existence. What had happened before the source was created, and how might this have influenced the perspective of the author? Which structures or processes might have been important in shaping the author’s opinion on a given topic? Who is the intended audience for this source, and which message does it contain? What kind of style and rhetoric is used, and what is the purpose of those stylistic/rhetoric devices?
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