Secondary source #2: “usa in vietnam” essay

Secondary Sources Analysis Guidelines

Instructions: READ INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY. Write a 3-4 page paper (in paragraph form) about the article provided for you (on D2L). You will have a cover page, your paper with footnotes or an end note page, and a bibliography page. A secondary source analysis is different from a primary source analysis. The focus of this paper is to critique another historian’s work, explaining why you think the historian’s argument is or is not valid.

You must include:

  • Historical context (who, where, when). What is the credibility of the writer/speaker?  
  • The author’s argument (thesis)
  • Provide an analysis of historical issues the author is addressing and your interpretation of the argument.
  • Any problems you see with the author’s argument  


Please quote from the article to support your arguments. Use endnotes or footnote. Create a bibliography page. It will only have one (1) citation.

Questions? Email me or talk to me at the end of class.

Format: Use the sample below to guide you in writing your primary source analysis. 12pt, Times Roman or Calibri font, 1” margins, page numbers, double space body of the paper, left-align (no centering!), 5 space indentation for first line of each paragraph.  

Include a cover sheet: Consult the Chicago manual of Style in D2L for formatting. Keep it simple, no fancy fonts, no graphics.

Body of your paper (which includes introduction and conclusion)

Section 1 will be your introduction. This includes the background information about the article. That means including historical context and the author’s argument (as known as their thesis). Set the stage for what you’re about to discuss.  

Section 2 will be 2-3 paragraphs explaining what the article is about and who the author has consulted to construct his/her argument (what primary sources did they sue?).1 Be sure to be comprehensive in your information.  Also, discuss your analysis of the article and provide evidence as to whether you agree with the author or why you do not.2

Section 3 will be your conclusion (usually one paragraph). Summarize for your reader what you’ve learn. Then go on to discuss what you think this information means for a global society.  

Creating Your Bibliography Page: All the information for the source will be at the beginning of the source in D2L. You will need to take that information and create a proper Chicago Manual of Style bibliography page. Again, keep it simple, no fancy fonts or graphics. This is a separate page, use the page break option to create a new one.  

1 This is a sample of a footnote. You will need to include, in the proper format, the author, the article, the source, and the publication information. Consult the CMS reference sources on D2L for formatting information.

2 Ibid. This is an example of a footnote when you are citing from the same source on the same page of the article. Be sure to consult the CMS references for complete information.

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