Emily Murphy Document Analysis

2 pages double spaced

Subject: Women and gender studies

Paper Format: Chicago/Turabian

Paper details:


In this assignment you will closely analyse a primary source document in an attempt to understand the period in which it first appeared and the attitudes toward women and women’s activism expressed in the document.

Primary sources are the raw materials historians use to understand and interpret the past. The primary sources we will examine in this course and in this assignment are texts and images (letters, newspaper articles, journal entries, political cartoons, advertisements, etc.) produced by people in the past. These afford us unique evidence of and perspectives on the past.

Choose one of the documents provided. Examine it carefully, and write a short paper (typed, double-spaced) analysing the content of the document. When you read (or look at) the document consider the following:

1. Who is the author? How does this influence the perspective expressed by the document? What does the document reveal about the author?

2. When was the document created? Does this help to explain any aspects of the document? Does the document reveal anything about women and/or women’s activism in the period?

3. What was the original purpose of the document? Do you feel that the producer of the document accomplished his/her purpose? Why or why not?

4. What does the document reveal about attitudes toward women at the time it was written? Try to explain the reasons for those attitudes.

Do not be concerned if the document addresses a time period or subject that we haven’t fully explored in the course. What is most important is how sensitive you are to the historical evidence and how well you probe the document for a glimpse of the past.

If you make a conjecture and support it with evidence from the document and the conjecture, as a result, makes sense, you will be given credit for this (even if the conjecture turns out to be false).

Don’t simply answer the questions listed above. Your document analysis must be in proper essay form, and must have coherence and unity. It must include an introductory paragraph, a clear and focussed thesis, strong supporting paragraphs and a meaningful conclusion.

In order to establish a persuasive and well-supported analysis, you must make clear, specific references to the document throughout your paper. You must document all references using Chicago style format. Be sure to provide footnotes (or endnotes) for ALL references to the document.

See the History Department’s webpage for tips on using Chicago style: http://www.uwindsor.ca/history/writing-guidelines
The Leddy Library site also provides a Chicago style guide:

You are not expected to do any outside reading in order to analyse the document. If you use any secondary sources (e.g., scholarly articles from academic journals or books), these must be thoroughly referenced in your paper.

Notes on Document Analysis 1:
The Document Package for Document Analysis 1 is attached. Document Analysis 1 is shorter in its length requirement (500-750 words, or about 2-3 pages) and it is worth 20% of your final grade. This gives you an opportunity to try your hand at writing a document analysis, a form of scholarly writing which may be new to you.

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