Question: Select any ONE of the primary sources listed below for your convenience.
Craft an argument that explains the strengths and weaknesses of this particular source in understanding the historical period in which it was created. What precautions or strategies should a historian employ in using this source? Be specific. While you may use other sources to contextualize your source, most of your discussion and citations should be from the primary source you have selected.
Primary sources for Paper one: Kabir’s poems/ Abul Fazl/ Al-Badauni.
Formulate a clear analytical thesis that responds to the question posed above. Please use the evidence in the readings to back up your argument.You are encouraged to formulate your argument using only the class readings. You are being evaluated on the basis of your ability to read and analyze these sources closely. No plagiarism.
Papers will be short 5 page papers, double spaced, one inch margins.
- You may use parenthetical citation in these shorter papers with author’s last name and page number: for example (Metcalf 24).
- Make sure that these short papers are analytical and express your own views, rather than summarizing the original text, or offer weak personal reactions not backed up by evidence from the text. In other words, I am asking for an informed analysis of the readings, not descriptive summaries or emotional reactions. Even if you agree 100% with an author, you need to explain why that argument is well-structured, or convincing, or provide the historical/social context for it. In the case of primary documents make sure that you contextualize that document historically.
An “A” paper
-has a clearly articulated thesis (argument) that is analytical rather than descriptive.
-the thesis should not depend on a straw argument or be based on an exaggeration of the evidence, it should be balanced.
-the rest of the paper builds up and supports the argument paragraph-by-paragraph using examples and evidence from the readings to back up each point.
-uses a consistent citation method which honestly credits all facts/arguments borrowed from others.
-does not rely on too many direct quotes to make the argument, the author is able to express and cite the evidence in his or her own words, reserving
direct quotes only for illustrating evidence or analyzing language in instances where paraphrasing would be inappropriate.
-Uses clear language with varied sentence length and structure and is free of most grammatical and spelling errors.
-Should have a clear conclusion that does not merely restate the thesis introduced earlier in the paper (Keep in mind, however, that the conclusion is not the place to introduce new evidence or new parts of your argument. This should be done earlier.).
–many times your best argument appears in the conclusion, if you find this is the case, go back and edit your introduction to mirror the argument you make in the conclusion.