THESE ESSAY ASSIGNMENTS ARE NOT JUST ASKING FOR A SUMMARY OF THE DOCUMENT, but rather an ANALYSIS of the article you choose and the specific primary sources the author uses to write the article.

Choose an article that was published between February 18, 2019 and March 29, 2019 for this assignment.

The area of the world for this assignment’s article choice is Eastern Europe–the region as a whole or any country within Eastern Europe.  The countries in Eastern Europe, as defined by the United Nations are:   Belarus. Bulgaria. Czech Republic. Hungary. Moldova. Poland. Romania. Russia. NOT U.S. policy towards Eastern Europe or refugees from these countries to the U.S.

 Written assignments, at least 500 words,

Pay attention to the required length of these assignments.  These assignments consist of reading a newspaper article about a designated region of the world–specific for each assignment–and writing an essay about it.

Primary sources are documents or other materials such as photographs, art work, coins, tapestries, etc. produced at the time period under consideration. https://library.uncw.edu/guides/finding_primary_sources is a website that gives information on what a primary source is and how historians [or anyone writing about history] use them.  Look at the attached file for questions to ask of any source that you would consider a primary source.

For these newspaper article and extra credit assignments you are to find a substantive newspaper article [most newspapers are available online–it must be from a newspaper, not a website only or cablenews organization–NOT yahoonews, not cnn.com, not foxnews, not msnbc–only a published newspaper.] about the region designated for that assignment.  If the article you choose is too short you will have trouble doing the assignment.  Also, note that if an article is about birds, or insects or any non-human source that is not connected to humanity, it is not appropriate for this assignment.  Any good newspaper article is based on sources, which historians would designate as primary sources. So an important part of these assignments is to identify the primary sources used by the author of the article you choose.  Primary sources are the building blocks of history. You can think of them like eyewitness accounts or physical evidence produced at the time of an incident or crime being considered in a courtroom proceeding or trial. Without evidence a jury couldn’t make a fair decision in a case. In the same way, without primary sources, history cannot be written–and good newspaper articles cannot be written. So part of this assignment is asking you to decide if  the reporter writing the article you select has actually used good primary sources.  Does he or she have real evidence and enough of it to write the article?  Does the reporter have a particular viewpoint or bias?  Could you imagine the article being used as a primary source by a historian in the future for writing history about this time period? How useful would the document be and does it have any weaknesses or drawbacks as a piece of evidence?  What else might a historian need, besides the article you are analyzing, to give a more complete or balanced discussion of the topic?

Your assignments will be graded on:

Formatting:  1 inch margins; your name, course number & assignment number [first, second or third] on top of first page.  No other information is needed for a heading, and no repeat headers allowed.  Following this formatting, cite the author(s) of the article, the title of the article, the name of the newspaper in which it appears [the title of the newspaper should be underlined] and the date of its publication.  [2 points]

Spelling, grammar, word choice (10 points); Do not use “I” or “you” in these papers—write in the third person, as your textbook does.

Introductory and closing paragraphs (8 points); Introduce to your reader the article.  In your closing paragraph, sum up what you have presented in the body of the paper. If you submit an essay of one long paragraph, you obviously cannot receive points for these two required paragraphs–introduction and closing.

Length at least 500 words; following directions–region of article is correct for the assignment  (2 points)

            Summarize the article. (8 points)

             Identify any questions you may have that are not answered in the article. If you have none, it might suggest that it is a perfect article.  Does the author have a clear point of view?(5 points)

             Indicate what primary source evidence the author uses to support his/her conclusions. Are you convinced by the sources the author is using? Indicate whether you agree or disagree with what is presented and whether your textbook sheds any light on the subject—use the index and cite the textbook pages. Comment on how history is “used” by contemporary authors to support their points of view or illustrate subject matters they deal with.  Does the article suggest how citizens of the United States see other regions of the world?  Have you learned anything from the article?

By paying attention to this we can become better able to analyze whether or not something or someone is giving us “fake news.”(15 points)

Submit essay to both Blackboard and turnitin—grade is zero if this is not done

             Do not use the same article if you did an extra credit assignment on the same region.

Questions to ask when analyzing a primary source [evidence created at a time period under study that is relevant to the topic being studied]

1. Who created the document? A person’s perspective on events is usually determined by their experiences and position in life. Try to determine the author’s gender, class, region and social status. This will help determine the author’s point of view.

2. Why was the document created? Was the author a participant or just an observer of the events being described? Did the author have a personal interest in what they were describing that would bias their account? Were they trying to persuade someone? Was the document produced for a particular cause or organization?

3. What was the document’s intended audience? Was it a private document, like a diary or a letter or a speech, a published article or book intended for a broad audience or a small group? Most writings are produced with a particular audience in mind.

4. What type of document is it? Is it written in ordinary prose or a particular genre, such as poetry or musical lyrics?

5. When was the document created? Was it produced at the time of the event being discussed or described? Or was it produced as a memoir, something remembered from long ago? The time of production might have relevance in considering its usefulness and reliability for historical study.

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