These discussions should help you understand what a primary source for historical writing is.  
an audio tutorial — http://www.lib.umassd.edu/find/tutorials/PrimarySecondarySources/index.html
In order for any article or book on history–including your textbook–to be written, the author must use primary sources.  These are the direct evidence, the building blocks of history, which allow us to write about what happened in the past, and why it happened.  If an historian were going to write about the world trade center bombing in 2001, would the Declaration of Independence [which IS a primary source for SOME U.S. history] be a primary source?  Of course not.  It gives NO evidence on the world trade center bombing. Look in your textbook or in online google searches for suggestions of primary sources to respond to the assignment questions below.  But do not give a website or hyperlink for your source without citing and explaining the source.
1.  What would be direct evidence/a specific primary source for the founding of the first penal colony in Australia?

2.  What would be direct evidence/a specific primary source for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan?

3.  What would be a specific primary source for the founding of the Golden Gate Bridge?

For this assignment you are to post one discussion thread in which you post your name as the topic of the thread and provide your ideas of what one or two specific primary sources would be for each of these three historical mileposts listed above.  You will not be able to see your classmates’ postings until you have posted your own ideas.  This is ONE THREAD containing suggested sources for each of the above topics.

After you have posted your ideas, log back in at other times and respond to the ideas of at least three of your classmates on this assignment.  In your response identify if your selected and NAMED classmates’ threads are correct, have good ideas or if you have a suggestion as to the sources s/he has chosen to list.  Be sure to name the persons to whom you are responding.  One of your three responsive postings should be a response to what a fellow student has responded to your specific posting.  YOUR RESPONSES HERE WILL HAVE NO IMPACT ON YOUR CLASSMATE’S GRADE.  Just be honest in your analysis, and if you state the posting of a classmate is good and correct–and it is obviously not–YOU will lose points.   Think about this assignment.  Don’t rush through it.  To complete the assignment, you must post at least four times, including your first thread.  Postings one or two hours from the end of the assignment will not receive many responses–so spread out the times when you post.

You will receive full credit for this assignment if you do each of these submissions—your own thread and responses to three classmates including one in response to a classmate’s response to your posting and your primary sources and remarks on your classmates’ postings are correct and detailed.  Remember this exercise when having to deal with the idea of primary sources in your essay assignments.
The instructor will make comments in an email to you in Blackboard after the discussions are all posted/the due date is reached, in order to guide you on this topic and help you do well on the essay assignments.  Your first primary source analysis assignment is due soon after the due date of this discussion assignment.


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