discuss the primary sources, as primary sources are the building blocks historians use to reconstruct the past.

Final Analysis Paper – Instructions and Guidelines

You are to choose the question below, and construct a 5 page, typed, double spaced essay. The essay questions for this assignment cover the readings and course materials from Weeks 5, 6, 7, & 8 – if you have any questions or need clarification, please ask.

2. After the collapse of the great empires of Rome in the West, and the Han Dynasty in the East, new political, economic, and cultural entities emerged to fill the vacuum left behind. In your essay, please address the following question: Historians of the early medieval period often refer to China and the Byzantine and Abbasid (Islamic) empires as the political and economic anchors of the post-classical world. Would you agree or disagree, and why?


Length: Your paper should be at least 5 pages long (it is okay if they are longer than 5 pages, within reason). Use a formal essay format with organized paragraphs with topic sentences; no headers, bullets or outline forms.

Format: Double spaced with 1? margins all around. Font size should be 12 point in Times New Roman font type.

Thesis: You need to have a thesis sentence in the first paragraph that tells me what you will argue.

A thesis is about an argument – try and argue something. Do not simply restate the question as your thesis, as that is not a thesis. Having a thesis that answers the question and tells the reader what you will argue is essential.

Organization: After your introduction and thesis, you should have well defined body paragraphs which each introduce a point which addresses your thesis, and is supported with specific evidence from the course content. Don’t try to cover too many different ideas in one paragraph – split them up if you have to. Don’t use headings to separate paragraphs in your paper – create transitional sentences that move you from the end of one paragraph to the beginning of the next. Also, a conclusion that reminds the reader of your points and provides some insight into your argument is necessary.

Supporting Points: You MUST have factual material from the course to support your ideas. For this paper assignment, this includes any of the lecture materials and primary sources from Weeks 5-8. DO NOT use materials from outside the course (e.g. the Internet) in your paper. This assignment does not require any outside research.

When using material from the lecture materials, it is best if you paraphrase those ideas into your own words, rather than using direct quotes. It is important to cite this material, however. So make sure that when you are pulling information from the lecture materials into your writing, that you provide a citation for it. Please also be aware of the principles for proper paraphrasing and summarizing of others work into your own writing.

Citing is also necessary when you use materials from the primary documents (either general ideas or direct quotes). You can do so with short parenthetical references in your paper. For example: you should include where the source is located, the author of the document (if known), a short title, and the page number (if possible). For example: (Confucius, “The Wisdom of Confucius”, p. 25) For this assignment, you must substantially integrate at least 4 primary sources into your paper. It is important that you discuss the primary sources, as primary sources are the building blocks historians use to reconstruct the past. We have worked extensively with primary sources so far in the course, and most of you did pretty well with the sources in Analysis Paper #1. I will reduce your grade 2.5 points for each below the required four. Of course, you are free to use more than 4 in your paper – this is just a minimum requirement. This is especially important if you are aiming for a higher grade (A or B) on the assignment.

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