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Your first paper assignment asked you to analyze a short excerpt from two primary sources. This second assignment is designed to get you to extend those historiographical skills to longer and more complex texts, and to combine your primary source reading with some consideration also of the secondary literature on your topic.

The assignment is to write a 5-7 pages paper on a topic of your choice. You may choose a topic from the suggested paper topics list, or pick one of your own. If you do the latter, please clear your topic with me in advance before you begin your research.
Your paper must be grounded in and based upon a primary source or sources. This may be a text we have read for class; in this case, however, I would expect you normally to read the entire text, and not merely those sections assigned for class. In addition, you must also locate and consult one secondary article or book in your research, making reference to it in your paper. This paper is NOT a book report—e.g. a paper that summarizes material found in secondary sources. It is your interpretation of a document or documents, your answer to the historical question(s) your paper raises. You must find a source or sources that interest you, identify a particular historical question or problem that you wish to explore, and construct and substantiate your own response.
Many students will find books on their source or topics very easily through the library catalog. Others may wish to consult the International Medieval Bibliography (located in the reference section of Suzzallo) for references to helpful articles and books. An introduction by an editor of the text with which you are working is NOT adequate to fill the requirements of this assignment.
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