Primary Source Analysis

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Chapter 27(link has the primary source)

[Source: National Organization for Women, “Statement of Purpose” (October 29, 1966). Available online via The National Organization for Women ( (Links to an external site.).]

  • Type 2.5 to 3 pages–double spaced, one-inch margins, 10 or 11 font
  • Answer the following questions using
    • your chapter in AMERICAN YAWP
    • and lecture material
    • and textbook PDFs
    • If you need to use a reliable online source to help you answer the question, that is OK. You’ll need the author, title of the article, title of the website, and the URL for the last question about sources
    • I WILL LOOK FOR ALL THREE SOURCES – YAWP Chapter, lecture and textbook
  • Use short quotes. ( not long ones)
  • Give details such as names, dates, relevant explanations, etc.

PLEASE TYPE the question number and then your answers to these questions. This is NOT an essay paper with an introduction, body and conclusion. Just type the number and your answer – no need to type the question:

(1) WHAT IS the PRIMARY SOURCE? Provide the name/title given in YAWP, WHAT YEAR was it made? WHO was the person(s) who made it? WHAT is the full citation (total of a few lines). In YAWP the full citation is found at the bottom of the source – after the word “Source:”

(2) What, exactly, was the PURPOSE of your primary source? In other words, why did someone write it or create it back at that time, and what did the person hope to accomplish with it? Use BOTH your primary source AND your secondary sources ABOUT THE TOPIC to help you answer this, along with your textbook. (about one or two paragraphs).

NOTE: explore your primary source deeply: Summarize the main details in the primary source: What are all the major, specific, DETAILS and some quotes in the source which the author used to support his/her goal or purpose? (i.e., what are all the specific details that help you understand the author’s purpose, or what details made the author successful in achieving his/her purpose?) (about 1 to 1.5 page)

(3) Provide more BACKGROUND FACTS — FACTS ABOUT THE TOPIC (of your primary source). What did you learn in your SECONDARY sources? (texts and lecture). Use details from your secondary sources to help you to understand the meaning and significance of your PRIMARY source? (about 1 to 1.5 page)

NOTE: Use your secondary sources and course material: What event(s) or arguments related to your topic were important at the time just before and during the time your source was made? In other words, how does your source and your topic fit into the events and arguments of that time in U.S. history? How does your document help you to understand the events or arguments?

Example: If your primary source is a newspaper article about the Polio Vaccine created by La Jolla’s Jonas Salk in 1953, then you might discuss arguments about vaccines at that time, or how President Roosevelt had polio and made the research more visible in the 1930s and ’40s. OR about how the prosperity of the 1950s led to innovations. What might be the topics or related back stories for your source? This is where a little bit of internet research could help you. In my example, a simple google of “polio vaccine salk” came up with a fine webpage.

(4) Give full citations of all your secondary sources. (you already gave the primary source citation in Q#1

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