The purpose of this assignment is to learn about and do the work of an historian. By taking a primary source from the nineteenth century and analyzing it, you will acquire/further develop the
skills of historical analysis and writing about an historical topic.
For the primary source analysis paper, you will be taking one of the primary sources assigned for this course (or another primary source of your choice approved by the instructor or reader) and
constructing an argument based on your analysis. Essentially, you should demonstrate what the source can tell us about nineteenth-century U.S. history.
Your paper must follow standard essay format with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. Please proofread your paper for a logical flow of argumentation, spelling,
grammar, and readability. Cite the primary source you use as well as any information taken from lectures or the textbook. Outside sources are not required. However, if you choose to use
outside sources, avoid using websites like Wikipedia. Instead, use resources produced by scholars. UCI Library’s History subject guide is a good place to start looking for reputable resources:
Pre-approved Primary Sources:
• “Our Hearts Are Sickened”: Letter from Chief Ross of the Cherokee, 1836
• Jackson’s Rationale for Removal
• Frederick Douglass, His Battle with a “Negro-Breaker”
• Solomon Northrup, “How Cotton Was Raised on a Louisiana Plantation”
• Laura Spicer, “Spousal Separation Under Slavery”
*** OR another primary source related to nineteenth-century U.S. history may be used pending approval from the instructor.
Suggestions & Tips:
• Use the “6 C’s of Primary Sources” to think about your source.
• Outline your paper before writing it.
• Visit office hours to discuss your paper with the instructor or reader.
• Proofread the paper yourself.
• Have a friend proofread your paper.
• Visit the UCI Writing Center: (http://www.writingcenter.uci.edu/) Make your appointment now if you plan to use this service!