Primary Source Analysis Assignment (Midterm Paper)

Assignment Overview
The goal of this assignment is to refine your skills in working with primary sources. Remember that analysis is not the same thing as summarizing. Don’t just tell me what the source says. Make an argument about it! There are many different arguments you can make using a primary source. Be creative and have fun!

Choose one of the primary sources assigned during the first half of this semester as the basis for your analysis. You may also choose a couple of shorter sources to analyze together. Your assignment is to critically read and analyze the source while making a historical argument about it. Your argument should address how your source helps us understand something specific about Kievan Rus, Muscovy, or Imperial Russia. Your paper should focus directly on the primary source you have chosen. You may use A History of Russia (our textbook) for context, but do not concentrate on it. For the purpose of this assignment, you can also treat information you learned in class as common knowledge.

Make sure the piece you have chosen is a primary source! I have attached a full list below, so you can double check.

  • Mechanics
  • Your analysis must be 1000 words long—and I will count! If you write less than 900 words, you will be penalized.
  • Put your name and a title on the first page and number your pages.
  • Use 12-point font, double spacing, and 1-inch margins.
  • You must use internal citations for all quotations.
  • You must attach a Works Cited page. This should be a separate page. It must be properly formatted, using The Chicago Manual of Style, MLA, or APA format. You can access style guides through the Library. (Trust me, this is good practice for the future!)

DON’T PLAGIARIZE! I am all-seeing and all-knowing, and I will figure it out if you plagiarize. If you have a question about how to avoid plagiarism, please feel free to ask me. I am happy to meet with you during office hours any time before the paper is due.

Due Date
This assignment must be submitted on Sakai is due Friday, Oct. 11 at 8pm. Late papers will be penalized 1/3 of a letter grade per day.

Good luck!!!

List of Primary Sources from Weeks 1-7
All sources besides the Domostroi are available on Sakai

“The Primary Chronicle on the Early Settlers of Rus’”

“The Primary Chronicle on Dissention among the Princes of Rus’ (1012-54)”

“The Primary Chronicle on the Rebellion in Kiev (1068-1069)”

“Pravda Russkaia: The Short Redaction (Eleventh Century)”

“The Christianization of Rus’ According to the Primary Chronicle (978-88)”

“Tale of the Destruction of Riazan”

“Sofony of Riazan: Zadonshchina”

“Tale of the Life and Courage of the Pious and Great Prince Alexander [Nevsky]”

“Novgorod Judicial Charter”

“The Reign of Ivan Kalita in Moscow”

“Moscow’s First Successful Challenge of the Mongols, 1380”

“Russia at the End of the 16th Century (Giles Fletcher)”

The Domostroi: Rule for Russian Households (You may analyze a subset of chapters or the entire work)

“The Code of Law of 1649”

“Provisions of Russian Protectorate over Ukraine, 1654”

“Avvakum’s Account of His Sufferings”

“Olearius’ Commentaries on Muscovy”

“Reorganization of Russia by Peter the Great” (You may analyze a subset or the entire group of documents)

“Petrine Reform Legislation” (You may analyze a subset or the entire group of documents)

“Peter’s Decree on Noble Assemblies”

Alexander Pushkin, “The Bronze Horseman”

“Peter III’s Manifesto Emancipating the Russian Nobility”

“M.M. Shcherbatov Laments Corruption at Court”

“Catherine II’s Account of Her Accession to the Throne”

“Charter to the Nobility”

“The Nakaz, or Instruction, of Catherine II to the Legislative Commission of 1767-1768”

“Alexander Radishchev Excoriates Russia’s Social System”

“The Pugachev Rebellion”

“Russia Annexes Crimea”

Nicholas Karamzin, “Memoirs of Ancient and Modern Russia”

Nadezhda Durova, The Cavalry Maiden (You may analyze one section or the entire memoir)

“The Decembrist Movement”

Visual Primary Sources
If you select one of these sources, you must analyze the image only, not the text.
“The Cap of Monomakh”

“Blessed is the Host of the Heavenly Tsar Icon”

“Church of the Intercession on the Moat/St. Basil’s Cathedral”

“Portraits of Aleksei and Peter I”