Discussion and Analysis Essay
Construct a good, solid essay of at least 3 full pages which answers one of the prompts below. In addition to consulting your lecture notes and textbook, you may find it helpful to consult the New Cambridge Medieval History, Vol. I, which may be found in the Walsh Library Reference Room, call number D117. N48. Essays will be graded on content (clarity and coherence) as well as mechanics (grammar and spelling).
Late papers will be significantly penalized and any paper later than 24 hours will NOT be accepted. Drafts of papers are to be submitted as hard (printed) copies to both your editing partner and me. Final versions of papers are to be submitted as hard (printed) copies to me; you will also include the marked-up version of your draft. All papers must have 1” margins, be double spaced, and in Times New Roman or Garamond, size 10-12 font. Do not double-space your initial, first page heading.
In supporting your observations, you will certainly need to point to specifics in the texts. However, you should not rely on direct quotations and should use them very sparingly. You may not use any quote lengthier than two sentences. No block quotations. Any essay that consists of more than one-quarter direct quotations will receive a D. You should learn how to sum up examples in your own words, but be aware that changing only a few words of someone else is still considered plagiarism. Any time you use a direct quotation or paraphrase something, you need to cite the material.
This includes anything from the Chronicle text. For this second essay, your goal is to analytically read primary source materials. As you read and begin to formulate your essay, consider some of the following questions: who is this author? Why are they writing? What is the obvious, surface purpose of this document? Is there a purpose or conclusion that the author reaches which is not so obvious? What fundamental assumptions does the author have about his subject material? How do these assumptions influence or appear in the work, either explicitly or implicitly?
How do the attitudes or perceptions of the subject matter change or evolve over time? How does the historical context of each author influence his approach and treatment of his subject matter? These questions should be only the beginning of your inquiry and you certainly are not restricted to them. Use them to formulate your own questions, and then use those questions to help you structure your essay. Often the best essays are built around thesis questions, not thesis statements.
Primary source excerpts can be found in your Rosenwein reader or online at the Fordham Medieval Sourcebook and google books. This is a 3 page paper; obviously you cannot use all the sources, however what you choose should make sense for your thesis.
Using the documents listed below, explore what motivated people to go on crusade to the Holy Land in the middle ages. Did their experiences match their expectations? Were they fulfilled, disappointed? How important was morale and how was it kept up? Address strengths and weaknesses of the source material and be sure to make connections between the sources.
Using the documents listed below, explore what we can learn about memory and different groups’ interpretation of events. Address strengths and weaknesses of the source material and be sure to make connections between the sources.