You must contextualize the document you have chosen within the framework of the course. This essay should not be like a book review or simply be a summary of the document, but rather should analyze the text as part of one of the main topics of the course. The purpose of the primary source assignment is for you to practice critically reading and analyzing primary source documents and putting them into larger context. Such a skill is absolutely central to the work of historians and is something from which everyone can benefit.
In your essay, identify the document with specific topics we have touched on in the course and analyze its importance and impact in relation to these topics. Be sure to place the document into its historical context. What was going on at the time and in the location this source was written? What important themes, trends, concepts, or consequences does it illustrate? What do we know from examining this source that we didn’t know or understand before encountering it? What things make this document significant and worthy of someone else’s attention? Also be sure to read the document Reading and Writing about Primary Sources, which will also be posted to Canvas.