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How might the audience have shaped what the author(s) says?

by | Sep 26, 2022 | History | 0 comments

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SEE ATTACHED PDF DOCUMENT FOR THE ASSIGNED READING. What is this document (e.g. diary, public speech, poem, etc.)? Why was this document created? What was its purpose? Who created this document? What can we tell about the perspective and biases of the author(s)? What does the document tell us about the author(s) opinion of the views of other people? Does the document suggest that the author(s) point of view was widely shared, or was it controversial and confined to a few people? When was this document created? How does the document reflect the time when it was written or created? What does it say about the events underway at the time? Who is the intended audience? Were there multiple audiences? How might the audience have shaped what the author(s) says? How might the audience(s) have reacted to the document? Think carefully about the choice of words and the tone of the document. How do the words reflect the author(s), the time, and the audience? If the document makes an argument, what strategy does the author use? Comparison to other sources: How are the tone, perspective, and purpose of this document similar or different than others I have read on this topic? Historical significance: Overall, how does this document contribute to my understanding of this historical period? What other information might help me better understand the significance of this document? Some of these questions apply better to some documents than others. Choose the questions (it could be several) that you think can best be used to analyze and reveal the meanings of your document. You may choose to answer questions by asking more questions. I suggest beginning your analysis by identifying and interpreting/analyzing authorship and when the document was created get the basic contextual information down first before you proceed. As for your tone when writing, stay fairly detached, objective, and historical. This is not meant to be a personal reaction essay, nor should you focus on making comparisons/contrasts to the present day. (e.g. the significance of the document is not, for instance, how it demonstrates the similarity between the 1950s Red Scare and today’s Patriot Act.) This is not meant to be a summary of the document. Nor is it meant to be a personal reaction essay. (I’m not interested in whether you agree with the document’s message or not.) Instead, I want to see that you have read and thought about the document and are able to apply the kinds of questions that historians use when confronting an artifact from the past. Be a detective; consider this document a clue. Read between the lines. Look up the author.Try to say something meaningful about the document’s significance by connecting it to larger themes. USE YOUR TEXTBOOK READING TO PROVIDE CONTEXT Adapted from Michael P. Johnson, editor of Reading the American Past: Selected Historical Documents, Vol II (Boston: Bedford Books, 1998), for devising these questions for interrogating primary documents as posted at


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