General Instructions

Use the “Technical Instructions” document to help navigate these instructions

For Empire’s Progeny and this course, you are expected to complete and contribute two short essays, each of which must analyze a separate historical source.

1.  First you are to choose a source:

All sources are available on your section’s Omeka site under Items.  There you will find dozens of files of primary sources that I have vetted and selected.  Poke around through them to find a source that captures your imagination.  I suggest not sticking with the first one you come across.  You will find that they widely vary: some short and dense, others long and breezy; some include very helpful introductions, others may require you to figure it out more on your own.

2.  Once you have selected a source…

read it through once briefly all the way through.  Your first assignment using your source is the Historical Context and Interpretation worksheet, which is available via Canvas.  It is well worth it to put a little extra time into this exercise, as it will greatly pay off when it comes to drafting your essay.

3.  Our next assignment is the rough draft

Your essay should be 300 to 400 words in length (strictly no more than 500 words!).

Your essay must advance an interpretation of the source that responds to our research questions (see Interpreting Your Source).  And your essay must include a thesis sentence, evidence, and interpretation of evidence (see Essay Format).

Grading Criteria:

Only the final draft gets a numerical grade. Your grade will mostly reflect how much improvement your demonstrate between the drafts and that you have fully responded to the feedback received from the instructor and peers. Additionally, I will be looking for:

  1. That you have a thesis sentence that offers an interpretation of the source
  2. That you describe the source and its context briefly but well
  3. That you have well selected evidence (probably quotes) from the source and provide an interpretation of that evidence
  4. That your essay is generally edited and proofread

If another student has already written on your chosen source, your essay must add to, differ from, and/or disagree with your peer’s analysis.  (This is only relevant for essay 2.)

Submit your rough draft via Canvas.

4.  Once you have received the professor’s feedback…

You will be required to complete a final draft of your essay. 

The grade for the final draft will reflect the degree to which you respond to both the technical and the substantive comments on your essay. 

The final draft must be submitted on Canvas and uploaded to the Empire’s Progeny Neatline Map and Timeline (accessed through your section’s Omeka site).

After your entry, write your complete name and the date.

Please note that writing directly into Neatline is OK, but can be bothersome.  I suggest cutting and pasting your work from another program.