Sample History Paper on Temples of Doom

For your summaries, write a 4-page summary of each group of chapters below. You must read each chapter in the group, and summarize the entire group in 4 pages. I DO NOT WANT A DETAILED ACCOUNT OF EVERYTHING THE AUTHOR IS SAYING. This is not an exercise in how well you can repeat every detail. This is an exercise in being able to identify principle, key points in a 20 – 30 page scholarly history paper (which is essentially what each of your assigned readings are), critically analyze them, and communicate your findings.

I offer here some suggestions. Read the introduction and the conclusion first. These tell you essentially what the author is trying to prove in that chapter. You can make your outline for each chapter’s summary off of these. Then, carefully read the chapters. As you read the chapters, make sure to take notes relevant for each of the things that were mentioned in the introduction or conclusion. Where there is a footnote or endnote, read the footnote or endnote. In many cases in historical writings, the footnotes/endnotes offer additional critical author’s notes and/or comments on the topic, or tell you the source of the information.

Have you ever heard the saying “consider the source”? It is referring to when someone makes an allegation, you must consider the particular experience, condition or situation or possible ulterior motivations that might lead that person to make those allegations. Someone never exposed to Mexican culture might make certain comments that might not sound offensive to them, but which would be an offensive stereotype to a Mexican. You can put whatever race/ethnicity you choose in place of Mexican. An ex-girlfriend or boyfriend tells the young bride- or groom-to-be nasty things about their fiancé. Who is making those allegations and why? If it is a government report, what led to that government report? Doesn’t the government have enough things to worry about than to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a report? Somehow someone thought it was an important enough undertaking, and pushed for it to get done. WHY? Was there political pressure to look into that issue? From whom? Other politicians? Who was pushing them? Business? Community groups? Labor unions? Human rights groups? Of course, I don’t expect you to actually do all of this research, but I do expect you to ask the questions!

Take notes of any interesting findings. After you read the chapter, you should have sufficient notes to write a critical analysis of the chapter. When you sit down to write your summary, the format of the critique should be like this page, you may use MLA format, double-spaced, 1″ margins, and the font should be either 10 – 12 point Times or 10 – 12 point Courier.

The paper should be arranged as follows:

Introduction: in the first paragraph tell me the title of the chapter, name of the author, and the title of the book. (Titles of articles or chapters of books have “Quotation Marks” around them, titles of books, magazines, or newspapers are Italicized). Then, devote 3-4 paragraphs per chapter, 4-5 sentences per paragraph. For example:

“Temples of Doom” is an article written by Heather Pringle. The article was published in the March, 1999 issue of Discover Magazine.

(in your case you would put the title of the chapter in quotes, and of course they will all be from the assigned text).

Also in the first paragraph tell me what the theme of the chapter is, what it claims to prove or disprove. “In this chapter the author is trying to prove that…”

For example:

In this article Ms. Pringle claims to show that new evidence has been discovered that helps to prove the occurrence of human sacrifice among the Moche culture in the Andean region of South America.

In the second paragraph you can then go on to tell me what the article/chapter says. For example:

Ms. Pringle states in this article that up until now there had been little or no physical evidence of human sacrifice in the Americas, aside from the accounts of the Spaniards. But she says that recent discoveries have been made that apparently prove that this did in fact exist among the Moche civilization. The Moche culture existed before the Inca civilization in the area of Peru’s northern coastal desert. This civilization flourished from around 100 – 800 AD. (and so on– basically give me a summary of the chapter here- stick only to essential elements to summarize the argument of the chapter, not every detail!).

The third paragraph should be a summary of the evidence that is used in the argument. For example:

Among the evidence that Ms. Pringle cites for her conclusions are the bones that were found under the plaza of the Pyramid of the Moon located southeast of the town of Trujillo, Peru, near the Cerro Blanco. Some of these bones have what appears to be knife marks that the researchers claim are evidence that these people had their throats slit. (again, make sure you are looking at evidence directly related