This assignment seeks to help you hone your critical thinking skills through the analysis of primary sources. Choose two primary source documents from either The Jew in the Modern World or The Posen Library of Jewish Civilization (, access thousands of primary sources with free digital account). The sources should be from Week 7 through 14 only. The documents should either:
a) deal with the same theme (example: emancipation)
b) deal with the same geographical region (example: France)
Through careful analysis, construct an argument regarding your chosen theme or region.
We will discuss and review the construction of arguments in class. Remember, an argument is not:
-a statement of fact
-an opinion
-a question
-a list
An argument is a debatable statement with a definable claim that you must prove.
Details for Submission:
Due: Wednesday, May 18th at 5:00 pm via Brightspace only. No emailed papers will be accepted.
Format: 7 pages, 12-point font (Times New Roman), 1-inch margins, no title page necessary
Citation: Follow guidelines for citation of primary sources in The Chicago Manual of Style (available online through our library)
I grade papers anonymously. Do not include any identifying information (such as your name) in the document you submit.
Please familiarize yourself with the policies regarding lateness and academic honesty on the syllabus.
Rubric for Written Assignments
Argument 25%
Source Analysis 25%
Historical Context 25%
Style and Grammar 25%
Clear and cogent introduction that advances an argument (i.e., a debatable claim with which one might disagree)
Each paragraph uses close reading of sources to support argument
Demonstrates understanding of historical periods in question
Well-organized and structurally coherent
Uses precise language and avoids vague generalizations
Free of grammatical and spelling errors
Introduction advances an argument, but argument hard to discern
Body paragraphs do not offer strong support for argument
Discussion of historical periods present but lacking in depth
Some disorganization either on paragraph or essay level
Some grammatical and/or spelling errors
Weak or no argument at all
Body paragraphs do not support argument
Superficial reference to historical periods
Disorganization on both paragraph and essay level
Vague and imprecise language
Grammatical and/or spelling errors
No argument
Superficial discussion of sources and historical periods
Vague and imprecise language
Does not fulfill basic requirements of assignment – length, content, etc.