Primary Source Analysis

Primary Source Analysis

Paper instructions:
You must read the primary source at this link below before starting the paper:

The purpose of this assignment is for you to read an actual historical document, to analyze it, and then to express your opinions in well-developed prose. This particular topic requires you to consider the source in the context of our class discussion about the Ottoman Empire, but be sure to focus the majority of your attention on the source itself. Do not use any outside internet sources. Draw examples from the source, but do not quote either the introductory paragraph before the source or the background paragraph I have provided below.

Background: Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq was a European diplomat in the service of the Holy Roman Emperor. He was appointed ambassador to the Ottoman court in 1555, a time when Ottoman expansion—under the leadership of Suleiman “the Magnificent”—posed a significant military threat to Europe. Busbecq’s letters make clear his concern that the European powers were not up to the challenge of resisting the Ottomans.

After reading the source carefully, answer the following questions in your essay: In what ways do the Ottomans project (make clear) their wealth and military success to their European visitor?
On what factors does Busbecq believe Ottoman success rests?
How does he describe both the reputation of the Jannissaries and his own personal impression of them?
How do Busbecq’s impressions fit with our class readings and discussions about the Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries?

Read the document carefully (I strongly suggest reading it multiple times and reading them aloud at least once), YOU MUST COMPLETE THE “6 C’s of Primary Source Analysis” worksheet. When you have finished that, then start thinking and writing about the following questions:
• In what ways do the Ottomans project (make clear) their wealth and military success to their European visitor?
• On what factors does Busbecq believe Ottoman success rests?
• How does Busbecq describe both the reputation of the Janissaries and his own opinion of them?
• How does Busbecq’s understanding of the Ottomans (their wealth, power, military success, etc.) fit with our class discussion (meaning both the lecture and the textbook reading on the Ottomans) of Ottoman power?


Paper Format
Your paper should be between 500 and 600 words, in 12 point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, and with appropriate margins. All work must be your own and must be turned in for this course only (no recycling work from another class).

Paper Assessment
You will be graded primarily on the strength and development of your argument, your use of evidence, and on the coherent organization of your work. The quality of your writing is also important. Sloppy or confused prose detracts from the overall quality of your paper. Remember, this is an academic assignment, you should write formally and in standard American English (that means a clear argument, topic sentences, no slang, and no contractions). The ability to express your thoughts clearly in writing is a skill that will serve you well in any field you enter. Along with careful proofreading, I suggest you make an outline and read your work aloud. I promise this will result in a better paper!

Citing your sources
Be sure to properly cite all sources, quotations, or any ideas that are not yours. If you are not sure what needs to be cited, please ask me!! You do not have to use footnotes or endnotes; parenthetical citations that make clear the source and what part of it you are using (such as “Busbecq, paragraph 2) is fine. Nor do you need to include a bibliography or “works cited” page. Citations do not count toward your overall page or word count.

Along with the primary source, I have included three other files to guide you in writing your paper. The first is an adapted worksheet (“The 6 C’s of Primary Source Analysis) that you should complete as you read and take notes on the sources. Take this worksheets seriously. If you think through the questions and take your time answering them, I promise it will help you to write a better paper!

The second is a paper-writing checklist for you to go over before you begin writing and as you finalize your work. Be sure that you can honestly check all of the boxes “yes” before you turn in your paper. The third is a copy of my grading rubric, so you know exactly how I will evaluate your work. You must turn in electronic copies of the completed worksheets and checklist along with the electronic version of your paper.

The paper is due by 5 pm on Friday, March 21st. You only have to turn in an electronic copy (via email), and do not forget the worksheet and checklist. Your assignment will not be considered complete without them! For every day that the paper is late, I will subtract a third of a letter grade. Papers handed in more than four days late will not be accepted at all.