Broadened or restricted women’s rights? Based on the following documents, discuss



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The Document Based Question Essay
Step 1: Read the question. Circle the “cue words”. These are the words that tell you what you need to look for.

Example: Has the rise and expansion of Islam broadened or restricted women’s rights? Based on the following documents, discuss the changes and dilemmas posed to women at different time periods and in varying Islamic communities. What kind of additional documentation would help assess the impact of Islamic practices over time on women’s rights?


With this question, you are analyzing the documents to determine whether the document discusses the broadening or restricting of the rights of women. You are also looking at the changes and dilemmas that women experienced. Finally, you want to analyze the impact of Islamic practices.
Step 2: Read the documents. Mark them as you read. You may want to summarize it in a few words out to the side. You may want to write POV by documents where you can tell what has affected the author of the document.
Step 3: Write your first paragraph. Start with a background sentence or two. Next is your argument (thesis) that answers all parts of the question. Make sure you are using your cue words. Your roadmap will clue us into your groupings.
Step 4: Body paragraph 1: 1st group, start with a topic sentence that identifies groups.

Example: Women were granted the right to participate in the establishment and expansion of Islam.

You have identified that this group will about documents that discuss the broadening of rights.
1. Introduce the document by title or author’s name.

Example: According to Peter Stearns, Muhammad declared that men and women were equal.

2. Explain what the document says in your own words. DO NOT QUOTE.
Example: Women were active in spreading Islam. Women also helped to compile the Qur’an and record the Hadith.

3. Analyze what the document means.

Example: Because women were granted the right to actively participate in the expansion of the faith and in the recording of holy books, the community saw their status as equally important to that of men. This was a broadening of women’s rights.
4. Put it all together:
Women were granted the right to participate in the establishment and expansion of Islam. According to Peter Stearns, Muhammad declared that men and women were equal. Women were active in spreading Islam. Women also helped to compile the Qur’an and record the Hadith. Because women were granted the right to actively participate in the expansion of the faith and in the recording of holy books, the community saw their status as equally important to that of men. This was a broadening of women’s rights as most women in the 7th century were considered little more than property in most of the world (doc 2).
5. Next, you will discuss the other document(s) in your group.

Example: The Koran itself states that Allah considers both the works of men and women to be equally important. This demonstrates that God sees both his male and female creations to be of value. (doc 1).


6. You will insert your point of view/bias after your analysis.

Example:
Women were granted the right to participate in the establishment and expansion of Islam. According to Peter Stearns, Muhammad declared that men and women were equal. Women were active in spreading Islam. Women also helped to compile the Qur’an and record the Hadith. Because women were granted the right to actively participate in the expansion of the faith and in the recording of holy books, the community saw their status as equally important to that of men. This was a broadening of women’s rights as most women in the 7th century were considered little more than property in most of the world (doc 2). The Koran itself states that Allah considers both the works of men and women to be equally important. This demonstrates that Allah sees both his male and female creations to be of value. (doc 1). As this message comes from the actual text of the Koran and is considered the word of Allah, one can consider it quite valid as the word of Allah is the ultimate authority in the Islamic world.(doc 2).


Or

The political cartoon in the March 20, 1979 edition of The Minneapolis Star illustrates the rights of Iranian women being restricted after the 1979 revolution as illustrated with a wilting flower. The artist of the cartoon, Marjorie Wall Bingham, as a career woman, can easily identify with the pain of women’s rights being restricted as she most likely has experienced several obstacles in becoming a nationally published political cartoonist in a male dominated field.


7. End with a conclusion where you try to write your thesis in a more sophisticated way.


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