Friday, September 19, 2014

Essay on Primary Source Use

Below is an essay assignment from my Spring 2013 "Modern Middle East" course.  It is on Hanan Kholoussy's For Better, For Worse: The Marriage Crisis That Made Modern Egypt.

HIS 344: History of the Modern Middle East
Hanan Kholoussy Essay
Due Date: March 27, 2013, Noon (hard copy)
Electronic submission through D2L Dropbox

Consider the following from among the exhortations I am developing as a history professor:

1.)    Amateurs talk about events; professionals talk about sources.
2.)    The production of primary sources is itself part of a historical process.
3.)    A key to being a good historian is to learn all you can about the people who produced your primary sources.
4.)    The best research often involves not just multiple primary sources, but multiple types of primary sources.
5.)    Culture is always both reproduced and redefined in every generation.

In this essay, you are to focus on the author’s use of primary sources more than the topic of the book.  Specifically, you are to write about how the author’s (usually general) knowledge of the people behind these sources, her use of different types of sources, and awareness that they are part of history and not just records thereof contribute to her making her points throughout her book.  This essay must be 4 pages, assuming double-spaced 12 point Times New Roman or a similar font.  Five lines over or under this limit is acceptable.

Criteria for Evaluation

1.)                Proper essay structure
2.)                Solid and/or insightful points which fulfill the assignment
3.)                Clear and effective writing, including well-explained major points with supporting details
4.)                Drawing on examples from throughout the book
5.)                Proper citation of all information in Chicago/Turabian footnotes
6.)                Proper syntax and diction with minimal typos
7.)                Reflections on primary source use inspired by but going beyond what Kholoussy did which forms part of intro or conclusion (optional)



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