DISCUSSION 2 SKILL: Using Primary Documents
In the last unit you learned how to write using the Rule of Three analytical style.? You will continue using Rule of Three in the Reaction 2 assignment, but you will be adding in a new skill: the use of primary source documents.
As a reminder a primary document is anything written AT THE TIME of the event or era.? For example, the Declaration of Independence and the letters of John and Abigail Adams are primary source documents for the American Revolution.? A book written by a historian today about the American Revolution would be a secondary document.
In this discussion you will analyze a document by answering a few questions about it - first by yourself, and then as a group.
The group submission will consist of the group's collective answer to these question as well as one more step - pulling a piece of evidence from the document that you would use in writing an essay.
This models what you will need to do in your Reaction 2 paper.
- In discussion assignments, you will work as a group on a problem.? The task, and the tools you will use,? will vary from assignment to assignment, but you will continue to work with the same group.
- Discussions are worth 50 points?
- Discussions have interim due dates of initial materials, group discussion, and the final due date for the group submission
- Individual grades for each students will be based upon their initial post, participation within the group, plus the points awarded to the final submission of the group. Only students who have made 3?meaningfulposts in a timely fashion (you cannot come in at the 11th hour and make three quick posts), will get credit for the group submission.
- In this assignment, you will learn the basic skills necessary to complete Reaction 2
- Initial (individual) Posts: up to 25 points (grade based upon effectiveness and clarity of argument, historical accuracy, quality of evidence supporting your argument, and grammar). This is an individual grade.
- Group Discussion: up to 20 points for participation (grade based upon quality and frequency of communication - do you engage early in the process, are your comments helpful in moving the group forward, do you help in the final decision).? This is an individual grade.
- Group Submission: ?up to 5 points The leader submits the group decision.? All group members receive the same points for this portion.? Grade based upon effectiveness and clarity of argument, historical accuracy, quality of evidence supporting your argument, and grammar. Group leader will be awarded 5 extra credit points for fulfilling the requirements of the final group post.
Okay, sometimes this is obvious and sometimes it takes a bit of sleuthing and critical thinking skills to figure out.? In this class you will find all the information you need to know to answer questions like these from the assigned materials.? If someone writes about an event they were part of in their diary that same day, you will get fresh, first-hand account, but it will also lack perspective.? If someone writes about an event in their memoirs later, you will have a fading of memory but the author will also have a better picture of the importance of an event and the impact it had on later events.? Both are valid primary sources, but you have to use them differently. 3. What is the subject of the document?? Here a brief (1-3 sentences) summary is needed.4. Where does the action contained in this document take place?? Is it important to the subject of the document?? What is the relationship of the author to the action?
Asking this question of a document is very important as it speaks to the biases of the author and also as to the types of information the author should reasonably have. As you have seen in this course, historical geography is important.? Does geography have any bearing in your document? Is the author present at the event?? 5. Why did the author write this document?? Who is his audience?? What does he hope to gain from writing this document?? What is his point of view?? All of these questions speak to the author's bias.? Every time you write, you write for an audience (even if it is only for yourself).? There is a purpose to writing.? The author wants to gain something from writing; the historian?s job is to understand the motivation behind the creation of document and the biases inherent within.? Sometimes an author will modify what he/she is saying to impress a particular audience (or to get the audience to do something he/she wants) or to excuse their own actions.? Understanding why the author will help you better use the document and interpret history.6. Taking the above answers into account, how accurate do you find this document?? What would be the drawbacks of using this document? What would this document help a historian to explain/analyze? Historians ask questions like these (and more) of each and every primary source they use in interpreting the past.? This is critical thinking.? It is a skill that needs to be learned through practice, but can also be used to analyze almost any situation or source of information in life.? Every document/source has its advantages and drawbacks; this is why historians never rely on only one document.? Historians utilize multiple primary sources and multiple points of view when analyzing the past.? History is not just one person?s opinion; it is a careful reading and analysis of multiple perspectives to answer the questions of not only what, but why. *******DOCUMENT TO ANALYZE******* For this assignment, you will analyze Booker T. Washington's Atlanta Compromise Speech?found in Unit 2 Topic 4.??????
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