primary document themed research paper overview W r i t i n g

primary document themed research paper overview W r i t i n g


This assignment requires you to select 2 primary documents from the semester’s readings – 1 from the 3rd Grading Period chapters  26-29, AFTER 1955 and the 2nd from either the 1st or 2nd Grading Period chapters 14-25, PRIOR TO 1955.  Sometimes overlap of documents’ dates occur between chapters, so IN ESSENCE, choose ONE document from American History that originated AFTER 1955 and choose another document from American History that originated BETWEEN 1865 and 1955. IF your documents do not meet this criteria, PLEASE contact me for permission to use the documents or advice on substitution documents. This  Primary Document Themed Research Paper is a Compare and Contrast Paper, in that you are required in your analysis of the two primary documents within your theme to evaluate their similarities and differences within the sections of the paper outlined below AND to develop and prove a thesis argument.


You are required to write a 1500-word minimum Compare and Contrast Paper, providing all the required components of the essay as outlined below. This essay is worth 60 points and is due SATURDAY 12/11/2021 before 11:59 pm. In this research paper, you will have 5 sections PLUS a Works Cited with title headers as follows with the noted content of each section:

  • (1) Introduction
    • Briefly introduce: (1) your selected primary documents and (2) the theme through which you will discuss them; (3) the compare and contrast nature of this assignment; (4) the areas of content you will discuss; and (5) your unique thesis statement argument that directs the flow of your paper =
      • EX: (example from an Early World History Class)
      • “This essay will examine the ancient law codes known as the Code of Hammurabi and the Ten Commandments as systems of governing within the theme “Ruling the Roost.”  After providing detailed identification information for the origins of these law codes, this essay will discuss the similarities and differences in their historical settings, compare and contrast the nature of the laws and punishments in the law codes themselves, and then conclude by showing how the Code of Hammurabi directly influenced the creation of the Ten Commandments through analysis and interrpretation of their content.”
  • (2) Identification of Documents
    • In this section you will answer ALL of the following identification questions that are possible to provide about your selected primary documents: (Draw comparisons of similarities and differences between the two documents as you go). This is the vetting process.
      • When were these primary sources created? What are their origins? 
      • What are these primary documents?  Letters, newspaper article, official document, etc. 
      • Who wrote them? One or many? A person or an agency?
      • Where do they originate from? Culture? People? Place?
      • Who were the intended audiences? Written for everyone? For a few? For no one? Who were literate enough to read them?
      • WHY – what were the motivations behind the creation of these documents?
  • (3) Historical Contexts
    • In this section you will discuss the historical settings in which the documents appeared = what was going on in history BEFORE they were created that led to WHY and WHEN they were created? And what happened in history AFTER they appeared? 
    • What impact, if any, did these documents have on the peoples that created them? Impact on other societies? Impact over time?
    • Compare and contrast the historical settings of the two documents as you go.
  • (4) Interpretation of Contents
    • In this section you will discuss the content of your primary documents in terms of your theme, while making an argument in proving your unique thesis as you go as well.
    • You should be proving your thesis argument in your interpretation of their contents.
  • (5) Conclusion
    • In the conclusion, you are required to give your personal reflections of what you learned about history because of these documents, focusing on what you learned about the human condition and experiences of life in these times that you did not know before – relating how they impressed you and why.