analyze and interpret a PRIMARY SOURCE text and draw historical conclusions from it. In other words, you are being asked to describe what the text says, and explain briefly what can be learned from it or why it is significant historically. (Note what we can conclude historically from a text may be different from what the author and her/his audience might have concluded from it in their own time).
1) Consider who the author is, when writing, and for what purpose. Think about these factors might have affected what the author wrote. What are the goal(s) and perspectives of the author, and what is his/her relationship to the intended audience?
2) Evaluate the limitations and/or biases of the text. How far can we trust what it is saying? In what ways might it be misleading?
As you write your analysis, you should:
1) Describe or summarize the text: briefly tell us what you think the author is trying to say, what his/her intended message was.
2) Analyze or interpret the text. Explain what you think we can learn from the text about the attitudes or beliefs of the author/audience. What assumptions does the author make? What values does s/he espouse? How does the text give us new information or otherwise help us understand the issues we are studying in this course, or the time period of the author?