Interpreting and Comparing Historical Documents

Interpreting and Comparing Historical DocumentsThis paper should be presented from an argumentative point. Evaluate and weigh ideas and explanations by considering available evidence. Avoid using a point of view that may be formed without supporting evidence, e.g. based just on instinct, feeling or previous experiences otherwise known as an opinion. InsteadLook for evidence to support YOUR argument but also look at evidence that contradicts your arguments. You need to be aware of these counter-arguments and be willing to keep an open mind about them. Being aware of counter-arguments will help you clarify and sharpen your own ideas. Be open to changing or adapting your opinions andarguments in light of new evidence.This essay should have a clear introduction that states your thesis statement and a conclusion that wraps up the paper. Make sure to avoid introductions and conclusions that say nothing though, like: ?In conclusion, there were some similarities and differences from the two accounts. Though the differences were very different, the similarities were fairly identical.?Then, in the body of your paper, make sure that you use one paragraph per idea, and make sure that you have sufficient evidence to support each of your argumentative assertions (often the first sentence or two of a paragraph, referred to as the ?topic sentence?). And remember, when writing about the past and accounts written in the past, use the past tense. There may be occasions where you will need to use present tense but your paper should be dominated by past tense verbs.Furthermore, historical writing uses the active voice because it explains who is responsible and what they have done. Passive voice does not, so avoid it. The most famous example of passive voice: ?Mistakes were made.? Historians want to know who made the mistakes and why. Active: ?Jones made mistakes because he misjudged the importance of the deal.?Use three primary documents to read for this (will be attached). Compare these documents to one another directly, focusing on some of the most important similarities and differences between the readings (in both substance and tone as we will talk about in one of our Discuss (check midcourse.net for the help you need)ions soon), fully explaining your reasoning. What might explain the differences in particular?Make sure to consider and address the following:-The dates in which the accounts were written and the historical context involved-What we know about the authors of the documents and how they differ from each other-The possible motives the authors had for writing their documents-The audience for the documents-Any possible translation issues or other extraneous issues involved with the recording of the documentsThen, using the primary documents but reliable outside resources, assess the primary sources for the validity as best as you can given the information provided. Consider the following questions:-Is one more ?reliable? than the other(s)? (The answer can be NO here, although you should think about them in relation to one another ? in other words, one could be MORE reliable than the other(s) but still not all that reliable, for example).-Can the ?reliability? be determined? Why or why not?-What is most important when trying to assess the reliability of these documents?Lastly, these documents are broadly referring to the same event, but in very different ways and from very different perspectives. In light of these differences, how can we use them to find out ?what actually happened?? Is that even possible here? Why or why not?So you must use evidence from the documents (and elsewhere) to support your views on these questions.

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