the paper needs 6-8 sources analysed and linked back to the question
• Look at the physical nature of your source this is particularly important and powerful if you are dealing with an original source (i.e an actual old letter. Rather than a transcribed and published version of the same letter). What can you learn from the form of the source? (was it written on fancy paper in elegant handwriting or on scrap paper, scribbled in pencil?) what does this tell you?
• Think about the purpose of the source. what was the authors message or argument? What was he/she trying to get across? Is the message explicit, or are they implicit messages aswell?
• How does the author get the message across? What methods does he/she use?
• What do we know about the author? Race, sex, class, occupation, religion, age, region, political beliefs? Does any of this matter? How?
• Who constituted the intended audience? Was this source meant for one persons eyes, or for the public? How does this affect the source
• What can a careful reading of the text (or analysis of an object) tell you? How does the language work? What are the important metaphors or symbols? What can the author’s choice of words tell you? What about the silences – what does the author choose NOT to talk about
Now you can evaluate the source as historical evidence
• is it prescriptive – telling you what people thought should happen – or descriptive – telling you what people thought did happen?
• Does it describe ideology and/or behavior?
• Does it tell you about the beliefs/actions of the elite or of ordinary@ people? From whose perspective?
• What historical questions can you answer using this source what are the benefits or using this kind of source?
• What questions can NOT help you answer using this source? What are the limitations of this kind of source
• If we have read other historians’ interpretations of this source or sources like this one, how does your analysis fit with theirs? In your opinion, does this source support or challenge their argument
Be selective of these questions you cannot answer all of them in the paper