USS Monitor, Primary Source Paper
Chosen Subject is the USS Monitor, ship used during the Civil War
This assignment will assess your ability to understand what a primary source is, how to analyze a primary source, and to clearly state and explain your interpretation(s) in a written format.
Through research and exploration of archives/databases you will find a primary source related to an individual from the time period covered by this class. You will then analyze this primary
document using the rubric below.
Format: 4-5 pages in length, 1” margins, Times New Roman, 12 pt font, double spaced, no title
page. Turabian style citation will be used in this paper.
A primary source is a document or physical object which was written or created during the time
under study. These sources were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event or facet of life.
The fundamental question a primary source can help answer is: What does the source tell you
about life in its culture at the time it was written/created, and about the person that wrote it?
The Six C’s of primary source interpretation
Content: What is the main idea? For documents, list important points/phrases/words/sentences.
For images, describe what you see.
Citation: Who created this and when? What type of source is it?
Communication: What is the author’s bias or point of view? Who is the intended audience?
Why was the source created? What is the tone of the document or image?
Context: What is going on in the world, country, region, or locality when this was created? OR,
What other sources (primary or secondary) might help provide answers to this question? What
else do we need to know to better understand the evidence in this source?
Connections: How does this connect to what you already know?
Conclusions: What contributions does this make to our understanding of history? How did you
come to these conclusions? How does this document help answer essential question(s)?
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