Writing a historical document analysis

You will note a common theme—read critically with sensitivity to the context. The code was a compendium of earlier laws, and he probably created it because he was the ruler, and a uniform code that applied to everyone helped him rule.

If the document represents more than one viewpoint, have you carefully distinguished between the author's viewpoint and those viewpoints the author presents only to criticize or refute? Are there contradictions?

Interpreting historical documents

See the accompanying handout for a document analysis form that you can distribute to your students. However, it is especially appropriate for the written documents. Can you learn anything from the way it has been preserved? This is very impressive and shows how various eventualities had to be completely pre-thought for this law code, a very complex task. Is there any reason to believe that the document is not genuine or not exactly what it appears to be? In a public archive? It was a very serious matter to "mess with" the priests who enjoyed a protected, and lucrative, status in Mesopotamian society. Cite every time you raise specific information, or make deductions based on one or more of the paragraphs, as well as when quotations are provided.

This law indicates that "weaving a spell" could be a very serious offense that could lead to death if the spell was applied improperly. What additional information might help you better interpret the document?

Technical document analysis example

If so, did the author intend it to be published? Students learn much more when they have to explain their ideas and hear other interpretations. What motive purpose might the author have had in writing this document? Are you dealing with the original or with a copy? The code was a compendium of earlier laws, and he probably created it because he was the ruler, and a uniform code that applied to everyone helped him rule. This law indicates that "weaving a spell" could be a very serious offense that could lead to death if the spell was applied improperly. What does the document leave out that you might have expected it to discuss? Of course, you can ask these same questions of any document you encounter in your research.

Sharing their analysis can also stimulate interesting discussions about the message and significance of a document. Why is the code so detailed?

Was the author representing a specific group?

how to annotate a historical document

Yes, it is fair. If a man has stolen the goods of a temple or palace, that man shall be killed, and he who has received the stolen thing from his hand shall be put to death.

Document analysis chart

What makes you think so? Who is the author, and what stake does the author have in the matters discussed? Students Share Their Ideas Completing these forms is just the first step of document analysis. Why is this document important? If the document is unsigned, what can you infer about the author or authors? Is it corroborated by other sources? Analyzing the document internal analysis Main body of the document : a. In this way, completing document analysis forms can function as a pre-discussion activity. Has the document been published? What additional information might help you better interpret the document? Was the author representing a specific group? If possible, situate this document in a wider context. What motive purpose might the author have had in writing this document? There are numerous provisions in the code to attest to the honesty of judges and witnesses.

Distinguish between the short and the long term.

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Sample Historical Document Analysis