Annotated primary sources

You will twice annotate primary sources. Your annotation will consist of a paragraph summing up the source’s position, another paragraph giving it context, as well as marginal notes on the meaning of words and ideas. This will take at least two and no more than five pages. You will receive a handout with further instructions. Think of the first assignment as a low stakes chance to learn a skill to apply to all the readings in the course, and the second assignment as a chance to demonstrate mastery of a skill learned over the course of the semester.

Secondary source comparison

After completing your annotated primary sources, you will write a very brief paper comparing several secondary sources while drawing on primary sources read in class. You must use at least one of the secondary sources assigned in class, and you must find at least two others on related topics. Your essay should compare the arguments of these various works, and reflect on which argument is best supported by the primary sources we have read. This assignment will take at least four and no more than seven pages. You will receive a handout with further instructions.


Every class period will require your active participation. Participation will be evaluated by your preparation for class through completing the readings, and by the amount and quality of your contributions to the class discussions.


You will write two exams for this course, one at midterm and one at finals. Both will require essays, but you will have a choice of the essays questions to be answered.


The assignments for this course will receive these weights.

assignment weight
annotated primary source 1 5%
annotated primary source 2 15%
secondary source comparison 20%
midterm exam 15%
final exam 25%
participation 20%