The purpose of the second essay is to teach you about the concept of primary resources. Primary sources are a significant tool for historians. Primary resources are those documents, media and material that were created at the time of an event (Links to an external site.) . In contrast, secondary sources are those created well after an event. Historians frequently use an array of primary sources to create a history such as newspapers, films, government documents, material culture and now even DNA.
All historians will critically evaluate a written history produced by another historian by analyzing the primary sources used as sources of evidence. As 21st century students, you must know how history is constructed through primary resource in order to help you learn critical thinking skills. Just like you should consider a written history by the prejudices of its historians, you should also know how to evaluate the critical sources used as evidence for a written history.
For Essay #2, you will be required to write a brief research essay on the Vietnam War using primary resources. Here are the
1. You need to figure out what a primary resource is. City University of New York has an excellent web site about Writing on History (Links to an external site.) . Pay attention to the section of Types of Sources (Links to an external site.) , which will explain what a primary source (Links to an external site.) is.
2. While your textbook provided some introductory information about the Vietnam War (pages 982 – 992), it was mostly from a cultural perspective. YOU WILL NOT USE YOUR TEXTBOOK FOR THIS ESSAY.
3. You will use ONE WEB SITE for your background information about the Vietnam War. History Channel’s Vietnam War History (Links to an external site.) site contains plenty of information about the history of the Vietnam War, its various stages, and legacy in a brief format. If you use additional resources in book form, THEY MUST BE FROM A UNIVERSITY PRESS. If you want book recommendations in addition to the History Channel’s web site, email me and I will give you appropriate book titles.
4. You will use ONE WEB SITE to gather your primary sources about the Vietnam War. Texas Tech’s Vietnam Center & Archive (Links to an external site.) contains a tremendous amount of primary sources about the Vietnam War. Also, this web site has a special section for all online primary sources located at the Vietnam Center’s Virtual Archive (Links to an external site.) . It takes a bit to learn how to search this database, so I advise you practice and look at their tutorial first.
4. Your essay will drive a narrative USING THE PRIMARY RESOURCES. I would suggest you locate primary sources in a group for a sub-topic that appeals to you such as women, memorials, the North Vietnamese or the Tet Offensive. Tell the story of your subject matter THROUGH the primary resources you selected.
5. Yes! You will need to CITE each primary resource you use as your write your essay – just like a historian would. I do not mind which style you choose, just know most historians use Chicago. But you can use APA or MLA if you like.
Here are the RULES OF ESSAY CONSTRUCTION. In other words, how I want the essay to be put together:
1. Your essay will be NO LESS than 3 pages
2. You will use the following font and font size: Times New Roman 12 pt
3. You will use the following page margins and spacing: 1 inch all the way around (top, bottom, left, and right). Double space your sentences.
4. Please put your name in the header.
5. Please put page numbers in the footer.
6. You will NOT use long quotations. At all.
7. You will put together a References page for your primary documents that follows some type of style guide. (NOTE: The words on this page DO NOT count towards the total word count of the essay!!!)
8. Do NOT, do NOT, do NOT plagiarize your essay. I will be using a TurnItIn dropbox which checks your paper against all other papers and and books out there. If you lift and copy content, it will know.
YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE AN ORIGINALITY
SCORE OVER 10% for this paper!!!!