Analysis Exercise

HIS122 (Fall 2020)
Assignment# 2
Analysis Exercise
For this assignment, students will learn to analysis primary source evidence for a hypothetical
historical essay.
Type two paragraphs and upload as a pdf via Canvas by the deadline.
Use double-spaced lines, 12-point Times New Roman font, with one-inch margins.
Please follow the instructions.
__________________

1. Read the HIS122 Unit 2 Primary Source Reader.
Make sure to read all of the included documents.
2. Select one question from the choices below.
You will be using the available evidence in the Unit 2 reader to answer your selected question.
 In assessing the evidence, answer this question: how did internationalists grapple with
the problem of U.S. imperialism?
 In assessing the evidence, answer this question: what key elements did
internationalists propose for the building of their ambitious international system?
 In assessing the evidence, answer this question: how did various black political leaders
respond to America’s participation in World War I?
 In assessing the evidence, answer this question: why did different factions of
Americans come to reject internationalism after World War I?

3. To answer the question, just write in one to two sentences a brief thesis statement (separate
from your paragraph).
4. Finally, select two source documents from the Unit 2 reader, then write two paragraphs of
historical analysis of those documents that would support your thesis for a hypothetical
historical essay. Again, you’re not writing an actual essay here, just two paragraphs that would
be a part of the body of a hypothetical essay.

2

The Elements of an Effective Analytical Paragraph

1. Establish the Topic Sentence.
Start any analytical paragraph with a topic sentence that broadly frames the purpose of your
historical analysis. If your paragraph is following another, ensure that the topic sentence
includes a transition related back to the previous paragraph.
Think of an analytical paragraph’s topic sentence as almost a mini-thesis—the topic sentence
lets the reader know the purpose of your analysis, which you will then follow through with as
you actually analyze the evidence itself.
2. Contextualize the Specific Evidence.
In one to two sentences, briefly contextualize the evidence you’re analyzing so the reader
understands who produced the source and why they produced it. You may have to deploy a bit of
paraphrasing just to broadly summarize the content of the source or sources.
3. Analyze the Specific Evidence.
In three to four sentences, you need to present your original analysis of the historical evidence.
The entire point of your analysis is to use the evidence to back up the broader thesis that you
presented for a hypothetical introductory paragraph.
Your analysis is your explanation of a source’s historical significance, a more in-depth
explanation of the deeper meaning behind the source’s content, your scholarly critique of the
source’s usefulness in understanding a historical topic. Analytical writing requires you to really
think about the significance of a source and why it even matters.
You should also directly integrate at least one strong quote from the actual source that helps
support your particular analysis of the source. This is an excellent method of providing direct
historical evidence to back up your analysis.
4. Cite your evidence using footnotes (instructions located on the next page).

3

Citing Your Evidence
When engaging in historical writing, it is vital that we cite where our analysis came from—in other
words, the original historical sources that we relied upon. Not only is this important for avoiding
plagiarism, but it is vital to the authority of the historian that he or she is able to show readers what
their analysis is actually based upon.
As historians, we will be using an abbreviated version of Chicago or Turabian style (i.e. footnotes).
1. Inserting footnotes: At the end of each analytical paragraph whereby you rely on a single
source, you must plug in a footnote. That one footnote will cover the entire paragraph.
If you’re analyzing multiple sources in a single paragraph, then anytime you’re done
analyzing one source and switching over to another one, then you need to footnote.
2. Here is the step-by-step procedure for inserting a footnote using Microsoft Word:

 Along the top bar, click “references.”
 Click “Insert footnote.”
 The footnote will automatically appear and all you have to do is plug in the
information at the bottom of the page.
 Microsoft Word will automatically number the footnotes for you, so do not
physically change the numbers.
 The numbers are simply the total number of footnotes you use. They do not
correspond to a particular source.

3. The footnote format: Once inserted, you must type in the evidence citation into the footnote
on the bottom of the page. Here’s the format:

1. Author, “Title of Document,” (Date of Production), Page Number of Evidence (as
located in the primary source reader).
Example:
1. The League of Nations, “Covenant of the League of Nations,” (1919), 1-8.

4

Example of an Effective Analytical Paragraph(s)
Extracted from The League of Nations, “Covenant of the League of Nations,” (1919), 5.
“To those colonies and territories which as a consequence of the late war have ceased to be under the
sovereignty of the States which formerly governed them and which are inhabited by peoples not yet able
to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world, there should be applied the
principle that the well-being and development of such peoples form a sacred trust of civilisation and
that securities for the performance of this trust should be embodied in this Covenant. The best method
of giving practical effect to this principle is that the tutelage of such peoples should be entrusted to
advanced nations who by reason of their resources, their experience or their geographical position can
best undertake this responsibility, and who are willing to accept it, and that this tutelage should be
exercised by them as Mandatories on behalf of the League.”
Hypothetical thesis that this analysis would support:
After World War I, it was clear that many of the victorious Allied powers were not yet ready to surrender
their colonial holdings. Despite the idealism among internationalists to unmake imperialism, the new
League of Nations reinforced, rather than undermined, that very system.
Analytical Paragraph Utilizing a Single Source:
Despite the hopes among Wilsonian idealists that World War I would mark the end of global
imperialism, the new League of Nations was crafted in such a way that it actually reinforced
imperialism. In examining Article 22 of the League’s Covenant, finalized in June 1919, it is clear just how
much influence British colonial officials had in shaping key protections for imperialism. The Covenant
authorized a new “Mandate” system—the

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