analysis of the patriot act 2001

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.