Purpose The best window into the past is not history books, but primary sources, documents written by people who lived in each period. This assignment will guide you in critically and accurately analyzing historical documents, a skill that will improve throughout the semester and ultimately be used to complete the final project. Assignment Instructions 1. Choose a Source The textbook has included many important documents for each of the periods that it addresses, but it is by no means comprehensive. For this assignment, you will choose a primary source that either 1) the textbook mentions in passing but does not address in detail or 2) it does not mention at all. Unlike the final project, your topic does not need approval, but it should be significant enough that you are able to do each of the following steps with the document. 2. Conduct Research Research the background of the document itself: What kind of document is it? Who wrote it? For whom did they create it and why? Research the surrounding circumstances that may have impacted its construction: The social, economic, religious, and political climate. Similar or competing documents or ideas. 3. Analyze the Document Locate a complete copy of the primary document and survey its contents, identifying the major sections and the main idea (thesis). Potential questions to ask in reviewing the document: If it makes an argument, do you find it persuasive? Why or why not? If it is a declaration, is the intent clear? Are there signs the document was influenced by important events at the time? 4. Writing Using the information you have gathered from completing the steps above, write a two-page, double-spaced paper that includes the following three sections: A brief summary of the events happening while it was created. Potential influences on the document (social, economic, political, religious, etc.). A summary of the document and analysis of its contents.