Commentary papers are based on the primary source texts, which are informed by the textbook and lectures. Papers will use the primary sources listed in the schedule below (and only those listed below), and must cite them once in bold text. Do this: 1) read the primary sources and understand their main points, 2) choose an aspect you want to analyze (e.g. religion, leadership, historiography, literature, technology, warfare, regime design, masculinity, femininity, etc.) a point you want to argue, or a research question you want to answer, and 3) write a paper by choosing an option below: ๏ Paper option (1/3 the primary sources = 15): Write a paper, unified around a central theme, that covers the entirety of the class. Start w/ a thesis, e.g. “I am going to explain/illustrate/describe/ !5 explore X in the premodern West.” Your first paragraph should outline your main points. Then write your paper, telling the narrative, arguing your main points, or answering your research question. Close with some brief remarks about why your paper and arguments are relevant. ๏ Journal option (1/2 the primary sources = 23): The goal is to create a running commentary on the primary sources via separate entries. A suggested formula would be to start with your main point for each entry, and then provide several sentences of commentary, including clear references to or quotes from the text. In terms of length, 1-2 paragraphs each should suffice.
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