Document Analysis

A document has been placed in front of you.  In order to
properly weigh it as evidence to
answer a larger historical
question, you must follow certain steps...


before reading/examining
What kind of document is it?  (political cartoon, testimony,
letter, etc...)

q  Who said/drew/wrote this document?
q  When and where was it composed?
q  What was the intended audience?  Who was being ìaimedî at?
q  Could there be any bias in this document?

after reading/examining

What is being said or described?  (note the topic and basic
ideas)

q What position/point is being made?  (this is your
interpretation of the document.)**


q What conclusions can you draw?  Do you agree or
disagree?  Do you think itís a valid
position or not?  How
does it answer the question and support/oppose your
argument?
(jot down these conclusions - keep in mind what
outside references you are using to assist you.)



**Please note:  It is your interpretation of documents that is
needed to answer a document-based
question.  AP exam
readers will not want to see how you describe what you
read/see nor will they
wish you to merely restate or quote
what you read.  They are only looking for you to apply your

interpretation of documents to your arguments.

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