Primary Source Questions and Worksheet
Title of Primary Document:_______________________________________
When you read the primary sources in translation from Bailkey or Handouts, please consider the following questions and jot down some notes in response to them. Bring both the documents and your notes to class for discussion. You will hand in four (4) of these Assignment Sheets over the course of the semester as marked on the syllabus, but you should prepare one for each primary document that we read.
- What is the central issue, event or concern of the author?
- Does the author have an opinion about the event or issue, if so, what is the opinion?
- What literary styles and devices does the author use? For example, poetry, prose, historical "objective/descriptive", analytical, wisdom literature, dialogue, persuasive, mythical, legal"ese", a combination? Why did the author choose these devices?
- How prominent is the voice of the author? Did the author wish to inform or persuade others? What was the author's agenda, if any?
- Was the source meant to be public or private?
- What types of information about the contemporaneous history and society can you extract from the primary source? What types of information are not discussed or covered? (Do not discuss the information itself, but the types/categories of things in the civilization that you can learn about). For example, can you learn about the political organization, social structure, material wealth, economy and trade, military history and battles, military organization and strategy, philosophical or moral values, religion or myths, entertainment and leisure, or legal codes and judicial systems of the society?
- How does this document differ or compare to other sources you have read?