Primary Document Analytic Paper Guidelines
– Please write a 3 page response to the following question. Responses
should be typed in Times New Roman or Cambria, 12 point font, double
spaced, with 1 inch margins on all sides.
In his preface to the Voices of Freedom document reader, Eric Foner
notes that “Freedom is not a fixed, timeless category with a single
unchanging definition. Rather, the history of the United States is, in
part, a story of debates, disagreements, and struggles over freedom.” Foner
further contends that the documents “reflect how Americans at different
points in history have defined freedom as an overarching idea, or have
understood its many dimensions, including political, religious,
economic, and personal freedom.” Read each of the following documents in
Voices of Freedom:
Ch. 18: Doc. 116 – John Ryan, “A Living Wage”
Ch. 19: Doc. 122 – Woodrow Wilson, “A World ‘Safe for Democracy’”
Ch. 20: Doc. 133 – Congress Debates Immigration
Ch. 21: Doc. 140 – Franklin Roosevelt, “Speech to the Democratic National Convention”
Ch. 22: Doc. 147 – Henry Luce, “The American Century”
After reading each document in its entirety, first establish the historical context in which the author wrote, then comment on how each author defines freedom given the historical circumstances. You should include at least one supporting quotation to support your contention. (cite using in-text citations: Voices of Freedom,
268). Next, compare and contrast the authors’ definitions of freedom
and comment on how the definition of freedom has changed over time from
the Progressive Era through World War II. Again, be sure to include relevant contextual information so that your reader understands what was going on in the United States at the time that each document was written. (cite your Give Me Liberty textbook for this information. Give Me Liberty, 222). Discuss how and why the definition of freedom changed throughout the early years of the 20th century.
Make sure to take notes on each
document and appropriate contextual information BEFORE writing. The
Primary Document Analysis Worksheet provides a good basis from which to
Your paper should have a clear
introduction with thesis statement that gives an overview of how the
definition of freedom changed over time.
Your paper should have a conclusion summarizing the significance of the changing definition of freedom in American history.
3 page minimum, 4 page maximum (this means at least 3 FULL – TO THE BOTTOM – pages)
Typed – 12 point font, Times New Roman or Cambria
1 inch margins on all sides
Please write in the THIRD person (no “I” or “you”)
Introduce all quotes with your own analysis – they should flow seamlessly as part of your sentence.
Write in past tense
Use active voice
BE SURE TO PROOFREAD YOUR WORK! Visit the Writing Studio (or SmartThinking) for help with this – they arevery useful (and free!) services!
Cite assigned course materials only below
Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty!. 4th ed. Vol. 2. New York: W.W.
Norton, 2014. Print.
Foner, Eric. Voices of Freedom. 4th ed. Vol. 2. New York: W.W.
Norton, 2014. Print.