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The following information should be used in preparing your out-of-class writing assignment for this course. Requirements and topics appear below, along with some tips about writing history papers.




Format and Presentation Requirements:

Your Text Analysis should meet the following requirements:

4 pages of text (i.e. 1,200-1,500 words), typewritten or word processed Double spaced with standard font (Times New Roman, size 12) Standard margins (1 inch top and bottom, left and right sides)


A separate title page should include the following information: your name, HIST 100, Text Analysis I, some sort of fancy-schmancy title.


If you use sources other than those assigned for this class in completing this assignment, you will need to provide a list of those sources (Bibliography) on a separate page at the end of your paper. Additional research is, however, not required.


Your paper will include an Introduction in which you will outline your argument in a thesis statement. Be sure to mention the author and the text you plan to analyze. Your thesis statement should NOT be in the form of a question – turn your questions into assertions. A thesis statement is generally the last sentence of your first paragraph.


Each body paragraph (you will probably have at least 3-4) should start with a topic sentence (the main point of the paragraph) and be supported with direct evidence from the text either in “quotations” or summarized. Either way, the evidence must be cited (as noted below). Be sure to have AT LEAST ONE piece of evidence for each claim.


Finish your paper with a conclusion. Don’t add new information here, just summarize your main points.





Sources for the Text Analysis:

This writing assignment requires you to analyze the primary source documents assigned for the course, as found in the Primary Resource section of the e-text. It does NOT require additional research or the use of readings other than those assigned for the class. If you include specific material from the textbook itself, (rather than the Primary Sources) you will need to cite author and webpage section. If you decide to consult readings or sources other than those assigned for the class, please be sure to cite them fully and accurately, according to the citation requirements indicated below.



Citation Requirements

You will be expected to use parenthetical (in-text) citation in your Text Analysis. The purpose of these citations is to indicate to your readers where you found specific information that you have included in your paper. As long as you are using the Primary Resources, your citation need only include the author’s name and the section number on which the information appears. If there is no section number for the Primary Source, just include the author’s name and the paragraph number.


If you use material from sources other than those assigned, including sources on the Internet, you will need to provide additional information about those sources. I don’t really mind what format of citations you use (APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, etc.), as long they are complete and consistent. Please contact me if you have questions regarding citations.


Grading Criteria

Argument: Clear and concise argument, thesis and topic sentences Use of evidence: Quality of response to topic; effective use of evidence Critical Analysis: Quality of interpretation and analysis of evidence Citation: Correct format and use of quotes and citations Organization: Effective introduction and conclusion, organized text Writing and Format: Text free of errors (spelling, grammar, punctuation)



Topics for Text Analysis 1 – Choose ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:




What glimpses do we get from Homer’s Iliad of the respective roles of men in society? How do those differ from the roles of women in Greek society? What values would these poems have taught young children? Use Homer’s Iliad in Primary Resources, Chapter 3.




Some Rules for Successful Writing Assignments:


1. Spell out time references: “seventh century” instead of “7th century.”

2. Hyphenate time references correctly, according to their use in the sentence: “The Trojan War is thought to have occurred in the twelfth-century BC.” (adjective). “In the twelfth century, war was a constant threat to society.” (noun).

3. When using brief quotations, remember to use quotation marks to indicate clearly when you are reproducing someone else’s words verbatim:

As Spielvogel notes, “Women were citizens who could participate in most religious cults and festivals,” (Spielvogel, 84).

4. Remember to cite specific material that you paraphrase – the ideas came from someone else, even if you expressed or summarized in your own words!

5. Avoid slang, jargon and contractions (can’t, don’t, haven’t)

6. Remember to make the subjects and verbs agree in number, as well as nouns and pronouns: “Scholars could circulate their ideas in print” rather than “A scholar could circulate their ideas in print.”

7. Avoid run-on sentences, comma splices, and paragraphs that go on for 2-3 pages! (In other words, think carefully about sentence structure, punctuation and paragraph organization).

8. Avoid overuse of the passive voice (The cat was chased by the dog) in favor of the active voice (the gods chased the cat). Active voice is more direct, more vivid and allows you to use more verbs.

9. Remember to use the past tense where appropriate in writing about the past (which is often!)


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