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Primary Source Analysis Essay

The goal of this project is to practice primary source analysis. The objective is to do the most in-depth and exhaustive analysis of your source snippet.

Don’t just give a broad overview or summary of your source.

Consider its substance, its historical background, the cultural norms that have shaped it, and its applicability to the study you want to do in a specific and critical way.

What is the author’s tone, manner, and point of view?

What are its advantages and disadvantages? Discover its prejudices and presumptions by reading between the lines.

The following questions can be addressed in the organization of your primary source analysis essay. Please do not just list your responses to the questions below.

Instead, you must format your essay as a brief one.

An introduction, several body paragraphs, and a conclusion are required.

Your professors will read aloud and workshop each student’s Primary Source Critical Analysis in class. Accordingly, we shall discuss manners and behavior for this procedure.

Basic Recognition


  1. Which kind of source is it? (Article from the newspaper, map, letter, movie, etc.)


  1. When did it get started?


  1. Where did it come from?


  1. Who is the author?


Author’s Objective


  1. What position does the author have in society? (Status, class, gender, ethnicity, etc.), career, etc.


  1. How could the elements mentioned in the previous query affect the author’s viewpoint in this source?


  1. Why, in your opinion, did the author produce this source?


  1. Has the author made a case? What is it if so?


  1. Who is this source’s target audience?


  1. How could the viewpoint of this source be influenced by the target audience?


Historical Background


  1. What particular historical conditions led to the creation of this source?


  1. What other significant historical occurrences, movements, or structures could have impacted this text?


  1. Is this source in line with what you already know about that era’s historical records?


Information in the Source


  1. What historical information does this source teach you?


  1. What prejudices or other cultural elements could have influenced this source’s message?


  1. How are the concepts and principles of the source different from those of the present?


  1. What historical viewpoints are missing from this source?


  1. What queries does this source not address?


The source’s relevance


  1. What research topic are you attempting to address with this source?
  2. What points made by other primary sources may this one support or refute?


  1. What points made by secondary sources may this source support or refute?


  1. Does this source show any trends when compared to other primary sources?


1,250 word minimum. MLA style (including works cited).

Last Updated on September 21, 2022

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