Instructions for the Analysis of Primaries

What Is the Rubric Used to Measure Your Content and Your Following the 5 Good Habits for Evidence. 1

What Is an Analysis?. 1

What Is the Safe Subject and What Are Your Other Choices?. 1

What’s the Order of What You Do If You Are Writing on the Safe Subject?. 1

Requirements for Teaching the Best Truth You Can Understand and Using Sources That Help You Catch On. 1

Requirements for Reading, Length, and Language in Your Analysis. 1

Requirements for Shortened Citations for Your Analysis. 1

Cautions about These Documents. 1

Resources Available as Links on This Webpage. 1

What Is an Analysis in This History Class?. 1

If You Want to Know Why We Use These Shortened Citations. 1

Brain Trick for Quoting and Avoiding Quotation Humiliation. 1


What Is the Rubric Used to Measure Your Content and Your Following the 5 Good Habits for Evidence

Click here for more on the rubric and how to use it as a grader or as someone graded. (This opens in a New Window.) You can also look at the link immediately under Evidence Quiz 1 in Evidence Requirements.

What Is an Analysis?

This is an Analysis of Primaries for a history class. Don’t assume a prior writing assignment for an English class is what is needed since the goal is reading and writing that help you learn history.

Click here for what does your history teacher means by the word analysis. (This link stays on this webpage.)

What Is the Safe Subject and What Are Your Other Choices?

Because some students had difficulties in looking at all of the primaries provided for this course and deciding what to do, this course includes a Plan for a Safe Subject. It has 5 pre-chosen primaries, with two from Unit 1 and three from Unit 2—but you only use parts of these primaries. Using these primaries means you are looking at how things occurred from about the 1620s to the 1820s.

If you want to look at the list of all of the primaries in US History I, please ask and I will make the list available to you. We can talk about an equivalent Subject and primaries to use. If we can work that out, I will provide a general Plan file for that and answer any questions you have.

What’s the Order of What You Do If You Are Writing on the Safe Subject?

Look at the things below this webpage in this folder and follow them in order to the bottom.

1.       Below this webpage, download the Plan file by clicking on:  
File to Download to Submit the Plan for the Safe Subject.

2.       Look at the folder The 5 Required Primaries and Other Resources and read the primary documents.

3.       Follow the instructions in the Plan file.
Tip: When you are completing this file, you are also planning exactly how you will write this analysis. You need to think this through.

4.       If you do not know how to use Turnitin, look at instructions by clicking on:
Turnitin Instructions on How Students Submit Papers Using Turnitin in Blackboard

5.       After you complete the file, submit the file to Turnitin by clicking on:
Plan for the Analysis of Primaries  (Turnitin Assignment Tool to Submit Your Plan)

6.       When your instructor emails feedback about your Plan, she either enters full points or 1.11 for your Plan grade and states instructions you need to do. 

7.       If your instructor asks you do something, do that so she can enter full points.
Tip: Check to be sure that you see that Turnitin Assignment at the bottom of the folder.

8.       Download the preformatted file for your Analysis by clicking on:
Preformatted File to Download and Complete for the Analysis of Primaries

9.       Type your Analysis and its citations in the preformatted file, proof it and the citations carefully, and submit your file to Turnitin by clicking on:
Analysis of Primaries  (Turnitin Assignment Tool to Submit Your Actual Analysis)

Tip: Look at Turnitin’s feedback on language and more important for your history grade on similarity—on plagiarism. If your text is marked as similar, notice what Turnitin says is the source. If you should have placed “” around words or other problems, fix it. In your course, you can fix and resubmit until the last day the assignment is open.

10.   Make sure you see your digital receipt. That confirms that you submitted correctly. You do not need to print it a

Tip Also make a snippet so you have proof you submitted successfully if needed.


Requirements for Teaching the Best Truth You Can Understand and Using Sources That Help You Catch On

You must use and cite in your writing:

a)      Each of the primaries listed in Safe Subject for the Plan
Caution: an Analysis without the primaries discussed and cited in the paper results in a mark in the “F” column of the rubric.

b)      The pages of the Essentials text that you identified for each primary and listed in your Plan.

Requirements for Reading, Length, and Language in Your Analysis


The primaries listed in the Safe Subject for the Plan. Be sure to notice the parts you are to read.

The textbook pages that you identify for each of the primaries using the instructions in the file for the Safe Subject for the Plan.


Use only the heading shown in the file – your name and date and the exact subject you are writing about.


330 words maximum – Less is better.

It cannot be more than one (1) printed page.


You used a pre-formatted file provided at the bottom of the Analysis of Primaries folder. Do not change the font size (10 points), the font (Calibri), the margins (1” on the left and .5” on the right) and the paragraph setting (double space).

The pre-formatted file is an .rtf file (Rich Text Format). You may work in that file or you may save it to another file type that Turnitin accepts. Turnitin accepts these types of files:

·         A Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx)

·         An Adobe file (.pdf)

·         An Open Office document (.odt)


Make sure it is accurate, especially if you are quoting something. Keep it simple by using this Brain Trick (goes to the bottom of this webpage).

General clarity

Read and plan carefully, being sure to record the exact page numbers as you work. Type in a word processor and run spell and grammar checking. Print it and proof it. (To proof = to compare side by side paper and source to be sure page numbers and facts and names and quotations and everything is correct.)


Requirements for Shortened Citations for Your Analysis

Do not use lengthy citation statements within parentheses () as is done with MLA. You are trying to teach history accurately to someone like yourself. You are not collecting research and quoting from it. You all have the same sources and so you do not want to get a lot of words get between you and your fellow students. Do these things for this writing assignment:

What You Want to Cite

Example of How You Would Cite

If the fact is from a primary for the Safe Subject for the Plan 

The file for Safe Subject that you submit lists the primaries and lists beside each one a short phrase that you use when citing that primary.

Example: the primary “1660 to 1732 Laws about Slaves and Indentured Servants” has beside it the short phrase Laws-Servitude.
If your fact is from page 1 of that primary, then immediately after your fact you’d write: (Laws-Servitude, p. 1)

If the fact is from the textbook, the Essentials edition

If your fact is from page 75 of the textbook, then immediately after your fact you’d write: (Essentials, p. 75)


Cautions about These Documents

1621 and later in 1670 -Anthony Johnson – For the Analysis, use only the Introduction  (on the opening page) and only the 1670 Court Document regarding Anthony Johnson

1620s+ The Introduction tells you that this African gained his freedom and—by bringing in indentured servants—gained 250 acres of land as others did.

Notice: in his lifetime, the law changed as the next primary shows.


1670 Case decided by a colonial court according to colonial laws, including those written in the colonial legislature in the 1660s.

1660s to 1730s - Laws about Slaves and Indentured Servants - For the Analysis, use only the colonial laws about slavery in the 1660s through 1717.

1660s – New law written by people elected to the colonial legislature.


Laws can be changed by the next legislature.

Not included in the Primaries. 1787 Northwest Ordinances forbade slavery in the Northwest Territory--states at the same latitude as Missouri.

See the map in the folder and read the cautions above it, including the quantity of voters and the quantity of representatives who can vote for a law in Congress

1789 - The Constitution – searchable online (Available from many locations.) – For the Analysis, use only page 19 which has grouped in 1 place the slavery issues in the initial Constitution in 1789.

The Constitution is also law. Notice the clauses that have to do with slavery. What region and what individuals are helped by these laws.


The Constitution can only be changed by a two-stage process.


1820, February - John Quincy Adams on the agitation and future of the Missouri Compromise –For the Analysis, notice what Adams describes is going on at the cabinet level.

This covers some inner-cabinet arguments about the law and the Constitution.

1820, March - Transcript of Missouri Compromise (1820) – For the Analysis, use only SEC. 8

1820 – After much haggling over the decision beginning in1819, Congress passes a law admitting Missouri to the union with limitations on slavery in Louisiana Territory.



Resources Available as Links on This Webpage

What Is an Analysis in This History Class?

Sometimes it is clearest start with what an Analysis is not. An Analysis in this class is:


This is a history class and the goal to help you learn history. One of the hardest things for students to understand about history is that it what was true at the beginning of a time period can be amazingly different at the end of it—sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. History changes! If it didn’t, humans could never have a consequence on the present and future. What makes history change is something worth noticing if you want to survive your present and, perhaps what is more important, if you want to try to maintain what is good in your present.


What do you do when you write an Analysis for this history class? You:

1.     Use the Safe Subject Plan or choose a subject you want to examine. (Ask if you want to know about that.)

2.     Read the primaries and the textbook pages about the time periods of those primaries.

3.     Work until you figure the subject out well enough that could explain it—for example—to your smart cousin who wants to understand.


If You Want to Know Why We Use These Shortened Citations

The reasons are:

  1. All of your written assignments are brief and have a maximum word count. If you used traditional MLA citation which is written inline (within your lines of text), you would use up your word count much faster. You could end up with a paper that says little but is full of lots of long citation.

  2. History’s standard, the Chicago Manual of Style, provides rigorous citation, but not inline. Instead, it uses endnotes (citation at the end of the paper) or footnotes (citation at the bottom of the page) to provide citation.

    In other words, citation is there but it is not in the way of communication of the history. The citation is not written within your lines of text because of how historians write about history.
    1. They are helping people understand the past.
    2. That is your job in this course as well. Why? When you try to help someone understand history, you start to understand it yourself. If you want to understand something, try to teach it.

  3. In this class, you use these shortened citation format so that citation is as unobtrusive as possible.


Offer: With the paper you submit through Turnitin, you may try endnotes. They are very powerful as a tool to try to figure things out. If you want to try that, contact me and I will make examples visible to you and answer your questions about the mechanics of making them in Microsoft Word.

Brain Trick for Quoting and Avoiding Quotation Humiliation

Click here for additional tips. (This tip is also available from the tutorial at the top of Evidence Requirements.)

The rules for showing what you have taken out (…) of the author’s words or put in ([ ]) are complex and for most of us they are not worth learning.


This brain trick lets you be accurate but avoid learning those rules:

  1. Choose 3 to 6 words to quote and change nothing (not an ing or an ed, not a comma, nothing) between the first and the last word.

  2. Put abefore the first word and a after the last word.

  3. Place those words with the “ ”within your sentence.


  1. If something sounds awkward about your sentences, then change your own words—the only words you have a right to change.


  1. Look at all of the words in the source. Be sure the meaning of the source remains in your quotation.





Copyright C. J. Bibus, Ed.D. 2003-2017


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