Checklist: Do not use a standard essay format. Provide each component clearly and distinctly.
- Two paragraphs comparing two selected documents.
- One thesis statement
- One discussion question
- Step ONE: Identify the nature of the source material. Which readings are primary or secondary sources? Are they fictional works or do they present any evident bias?
- Step TWO: Choose TWO READINGS from the assigned documents to perform a compare/contrast analysis. Video material is not acceptable in this assignment.
- If you choose a primary and a secondary source, then think about how the primary source fits into the narrative/position of the secondary source.
- If you choose two primary sources, then compare how they represent different viewpoints or perspectives on important issues.
- If there is only one assigned reading, then extract two meaningful examples instead of comparisons.
- Step THREE: Draw TWO meaningful comparisons between the two documents that reveals important insight into the historical period/topic of the week. The comparison may be any similarity or difference, but should focus on explaining how it helps historians understand the past. Think about how and why things happened the way they did. Figure out what you think is the most significant SIMILARITY between the two passages.
- Consider the author’s perspective (national origin, class, ideology etc) for each document.
- STEP FOUR: If these documents were the source material for your research project, what would your preliminary research question or thesis statement be? This should be no more than two sentences and cover the main idea that you would try to argue.
- Ex. Using the works of Robespierre and St. Just, this paper will argue that the violence of the French Revolution was created by their interpretation of the needs of the French nation rather than their philosophical beliefs.
- Be ambitious but with limits. Lay out a provable case that makes a strong a point, regardless of whether you are fully convinced that it is the case. You will be evaluated on the composition and effect of the ideas rather than the perfectness of the answer.
- Step FIVE: Create one discussion question that you can propose to the class during seminar. It should be a ‘why’ problem that poses an issue for debate rather than demanding a specific factual answer. Ex. ‘Why didn’t Frankenstein name the Creature?” instead of “Did Frankenstein name the Creature?”
- Do NOT use quotations or paraphrase the document. You may refer to specific passages but do not summarize the document. “ex. Where Thomas Paine talked about hereditary right, he was focused on the legitimacy of an absolute monarchy.” The paper should consist entirely of your own ideas and opinions about the sources using a compare/contrast approach. Therefore, citations should never be required. If you do quote/paraphrase then include citations.
CHOOSE 2 READINGS FROM ABOVE AND DO COMPARISON.
Example of one analysis-
PICO DELLA MIRANDOLA: Oration on the Dignity of Man, Paragraphs 1-7 and Medieval Sourcebook: Giorgio Vasari: Life of Leonardo da Vinci 1550
Both of the readings share many common things in it. For example, “supernatural fashion, beauty, grace, and talent are united beyond measure in one single person, in a manner that to whatever such an one turns his attention, his every action is so divine” (Giorgio Vasari). This evidence shows the importance of men that how god creates the intelligent creature that holds many qualities, talents, skills and so many other unique things. So, he used these qualities to give this world a better look in general, common examples are, art and sculpture made by human, many other marvellous monuments, and so many other great things. Likewise, Mirandola also mention in his reading that “A great miracle, Asclepius, is man!” (Pico Della Mirandola). This shows that a man who have so many unique qualities is consider as miracle to the earth. That means god creates him to explore his unique skills and use in a way through which he can creates the world according to his own way.
Moreover, some of other similarities between these readings are: “According to your desires and judgement, you will have and possess whatever place to live, whatever form, and whatever functions you yourself choose” (Pico Della Mirandola). This quote suggests that a person is on his own and neither he is dependent on anyone else nor he have fixed way to live his life. That means a person can choose any path and live according to his wishes. Likewise, in other reading author suggests that “in learning and in the rudiments of letters he would have made great proficience, if he had not been so variable and unstable, for he set himself to learn many things, and then, after having begun them, abandoned them” (Giorgio Vasari). This suggest that he live according to his own terms and condition, for example he chooses the path of not finish a painting and because of unstableness in life he did not achieve so much. But he chooses this way because it was the path that he wants to live in it. So, this prove the evidence used in above reading by Mirandola. Therefore, all these evidences show the similarities between both of the readings.
Thesis: both of the readings share tons of common things in which their main focus was on men who is consider as a wonder to the earth and who is responsible to creates the world on his on terms.
Discussion question: if a person creates his world by his own and chooses any path to live his own life, then why there is set of rules that are in society to regulate human? In which way you look to this contradiction?