Primary source analysis

  1. The first paragraph should be a brief summary of the primary source (who wrote it, what it is about, etc.)
  2. The second paragraph should be placing the document in its historical context using specific references to the textbook (with page numbers). For example: Why is the document important? Why was it important at that specific time? What was happening at the time?
  3. The final paragraph should be your impression of the document. For example: Was it what you expected? Did it enhance your understanding of the time period? Did the author seem to have ulterior motives? What questions did the document leave you with.


  • No less than one page and no more than a page and a half
  • Times New Roman, 12 point font
  • 1.5 spaced (no extra space between paragraphs)
  • 1-inch margins on all sides
  • Name of document centered at top

The first paragraph still needs citations of the primary source even if you are just summarizing or paraphrasing. The second paragraph could use more concrete historical context about the time period from the TEXTBOOK, not the primary source (read the rubric again). For example, Progressive era reform for women (New Feminism, the birth-control movement, settlement houses, women’s suffrage, maternalist reforms), and how after the war the abstract language of democracy and freedom, coupled with women’s support in war efforts, prompted women to demand concrete change (e.g. suffrage).

This is the note my teacher gave me last time for my previous writing, maybe you can improve it by using her notes.

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