Primary Source Essay
The writing component for this course will require you to analyze The Patriot Act (2001). You will analyze the document and write a 1.5 to 3 page (500-900 words) typed-up, double spaced essay. Here are some suggestions on documents you may use (you are free to use any other primary source as long as it meets the requirements).
- For your essay, you must cite in Chicago 17th style (Humanities/NB version), NOT Author/Date.
- Break your content in to parts that study the inter relations of the parts. Historical scrutiny is critical, it evaluates sources, weighs contending explanations and assigns weighty matters to causes.
- Use critical evidence: Have various methods of on how you can discover pertinent information for your paper. As a historian you need to interrogate your sources and ask the critical questions. Who, When, Why and How the source compares to the analysis?
- Write in past tense: Since historical events happened in the past it is prudent for your prose to be written in the past tense.
- Avoid generalizations: Historians value specificity not vague words or equivocal words.
- Write in academic voice: Avoid use of 1st or 2nd person.
- Avoid present-ism or anachronism: Do not relate all l historical event to the present. Investigate the terms on its own and ensure that chronological order is adhered to.
- Quote if you must: A quote will benefit the unfamiliar reader to take note.
- Cite properly: Historians use foot notes and end-notes (this is in line with humanities paper done in Chicago Manual Style). Providing reference and supplemental information shows how credible a writer you are.
- Proof read: Your readers will thank you for not submitting the first draft!
- For your essay, you must cite in Chicago 17th style (Humanities/NB version), NOT Author/Date.:
- The biggest difference between Chicago style from MLA and APA is that citations are in footnotes style. You will have to do a bit of research on how to do footnotes on whichever word processor you’re using; the link I provided has tips on how to manually add footnotes as well.
- Also, as a note, you must have at least the primary source you’re using as a source with a citation in your essay. You’re free to use as many secondary sources as you need to supplement your analysis. Since the essay is maximum 3 pages, I wouldn’t recommend more than two secondary sources.