The following information should be used in preparing your out-of-class writing assignment for this course. Requirements and topics appear below, along with some tips about writing history papers.

Assignment Requirements and Deadlines

Students are required to write one (1) paper, called a text analysis, based on assigned readings for this course. As noted on the syllabus, this assignment is worth 20% of your final grade in the class. If you already submitted Text Analysis 1, then you are not required to write Text Analysis 2. If you did not submit Text analysis 1, then you must submit Text analysis 2. If you submit both Text Analysis 1 and 2, then the lower of the two grades will be dropped.

The topics for Text Analysis II appear below. The format, grading criteria, lateness policy, and other instruction will be the same for both assignments.

Format and Presentation Requirements:

Your Text Analysis should meet the following requirements:

3-4 pages of text (i.e. 1,000-1,200 words), typewritten or word processed

Double spaced with standard font (Times New Roman, size 12)

Standard margins (1 inch top and bottom, left and right sides)

A separate title page should include the following information: your name, HIST 100 (plus section number), Text Analysis 1, some sort of fancy-schmancy title. A sample title page will be posted on Canvas.

All pages (title page and text) must be printed and stapled. A plastic cover is not necessary.

If you use sources other than those assigned for this class in completing this assignment, you will need to provide a list of those sources (Bibliography) on a separate page at the end of your paper.

Your paper will include an Introduction in which you will outline your argument in a thesis

statement. Be sure to mention the author and the text you plan to analyze. Your thesis

statement should NOT be in the form of a question – turn your questions into assertions. A

thesis statement is generally the last sentence of your first paragraph.

Each body paragraph (you will probably have at least 3-4) should start with a topic sentence

(the main point of the paragraph) and be supported with direct evidence from the text either

in “quotations” or summarized. Either way, the evidence must be cited (as noted below). Be

sure to have AT LEAST ONE piece of evidence for each claim.

Finish your paper with a conclusion. Don’t add new information here, just summarize your

main points.

Sources for the Text Analysis:

This writing assignment requires you to analyze the primary source documents assigned for the course, as found under the “Primary Resource” tab in the on-line textbook. It does NOT require additional research or the use of readings other than those assigned for the class. If you decide to consult readings or sources other than those assigned for the class, please be sure to cite them fully and accurately, according to the citation requirements indicated below.

Citation Requirements

You will be expected to use parenthetical citation in your Text Analysis. The purpose of these citations is to indicate to your readers where you found specific information that you have included in your paper, whether from the assigned readings or textbook. As long as you are using those sources, your citation need only include the author’s name and the section number of text on which the information appears. For example:

According to Plato, Socrates told the jury that he knew he had no wisdom, small or great, (Plato, 4.1).

The Epic of Gilgamesh “depicts a world ruled by polytheistic gods and their demands of humanity,” (Margolf and Heineman, Early Near East and Egypt).

If you use material from sources other than these, including sources on the Internet, you will need to provide additional information about those sources. A style sheet with examples of citation will be posted on Canvas. If the style sheet does not indicate how to cite a particular type of source that you used, you are expected to consult the writing guides listed below and/or ask me or the TA.

Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism

As noted on the syllabus, academic dishonesty or plagiarism of any kind for this assignment may result in a grade of ‘F’ for the course or other penalties deemed appropriate by me. For further information about the definition of plagiarism, see the General Catalog, pp. 8-9, found here: http://www.catalog.colostate.edu/Content/files/2012/FrontPDF/1.6POLICIES.pdf (Links to an external site.)

Grading Criteria

Please refer to the RUBRIC.


We are both happy to answer any questions you may have about this assignment prior to the due date, so please come see us or email us!!!

Additional Resources for Help in Writing Your Paper:

CSU Writing Center: Room 6, Eddy Hall; website at http://writing.colostate.edu/wcenter/ (Links to an external site.)

-if you seek help at the Writing Center, be sure to bring this handout with you!

Topics for Text Analysis II – Choose ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:

  1. What does the General Capitulary for the Missi reveal about Chalemagne’s vision of himself and his empire? In what ways were his Christian beliefs central to both? Why might Charlemagne have considered it necessary for all freemen to swear an oath of fidelity to him as emperor? How was the notion of fidelity crucial to the success of his government? What do the articles suggest about the means by which Charlemagne sought to unify his empire? Use Charlemagne’s General Capitulary for the Missi in Primary Resources, Chapter 8.
  1. In Robert the Monk’s version of Pope Urban II’s Speech at the Council at Clermont, why would Urban II’s claim that the land of the Franks was “too narrow for its large population” have been an important issue for the Crusaders? In what ways were the Crusaders examples of international cooperation? What specific grievances does Urban II direct at the Muslims? Use Robert the Monk’s Pope Urban II’s Call for Crusades in Primary Resources, Chapter 9.
  1. In Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron how did civil order break down during the plague? How does the narrator try to explain why the plague happened? What are some of the things people through might save them from the plague? What sort of effects would this situation have on civilization? Use Boccaccio’s Decameron in Primary Resources, Chapter 11
  1. In Chaucer’s Pardoner’s Prologue, what methods does the Pardoner use to convince people to buy his indulgences? Why might these methods have been effective? From the Pardoner’s tale, what do you learn about saints’ relics? Although the tale is satiric, it is filled with examples of abuses in the church of Chaucer’s day. What examples are described? Use Chaucer’s Pardoner in Primary Resources, Chapter 11.


The Text Analysis paper should be submitted online through Canvas by 11:59pm on the day it is due. If you would like detailed feedback and editing, please submit a hard copy in class the day it is due (this is not required). Students requesting an extension on the due date for the paper must present acceptable written documents of illness, emergency or University-sponsored events. You still have to provide this, even if we discussed it via email or verbally.

Some Rules for Successful Writing Assignments:

  1. Spell out time references: “seventh century” instead of “7th century.”
  2. Hyphenate time references correctly, according to their use in the sentence: “The Trojan War is thought to have occurred in the twelfth-century BC.” (adjective). “In the twelfth century, war was a constant threat to society.” (noun).
  3. When using brief quotations, remember to use quotation marks to indicate clearly when you are reproducing someone else’s words verbatim:

As Spielvogel notes, “Women were citizens who could participate in most religious cults and festivals,” (Spielvogel, 84).

  1. Remember to cite specific material that you paraphrase – the ideas came from someone else, even if you expressed or summarized in your own words!
  2. Avoid slang, jargon and contractions (can’t, don’t, haven’t)
  3. Remember to make the subjects and verbs agree in number, as well as nouns and pronouns: “Scholars could circulate their ideas in print” rather than “A scholar could circulate their ideas in print.”
  4. Avoid run-on sentences, comma splices, and paragraphs that go on for 2-3 pages! (In other words, think carefully about sentence structure, punctuation and paragraph organization).
  5. Avoid overuse of the passive voice (The cat was chased by the dog) in favor of the active voice (the dog chased the cat). Active voice is more direct, more vivid and allows you to use more verbs.
  6. Remember to use the past tense where appropriate in writing about the past (which is often!)

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