Early Christians 1
Assignment 1 (Primary Source Report)
Due: The Suggested Study Schedule recommends that you begin working
on Assignment 1 at the end of week 2 and submit it at the end of week/
Unit 5, after completing the first two skills modules. All assignments must
be submitted before your course contract ends.
Weight: Assignment 1 is worth 20% of your final course grade.
Length: Assignment 1 report should be about 1250 words in length (about
five to six pages, double-spaced, with standard 1.25-inch margins and
12-point Times New Roman font). Cover pages, pictures and bibliography
DO NOT count towards the length requirement. On the top of the first page
please provide the following headLQg: ³PULPaU\ SRXUce ReSRUW VXbPLWWed b\
(\RXU fXOO QaPe) WR (WXWRU¶V QaPe) RQ (daWe).´
How to Submit: Submit an electronic copy of your essay through the
Assignment Drop Box on your assignment page. Back up your essay
frequently, keep an electronic copy, and save your notes and earlier drafts.
Rationale: Close study of a primary source helps you to better understand
early Christians and their neighbours. Thoughtful analysis of their words
helps train your skills in observation, comprehension, and critical
questioning. Explaining your findings helps develop communication and
Instructions: Choose one of the primary sources assigned during the first
seven units of this course and write an original report on its use and
limitations as evidence about the early Christians and their world. Attach
an annotated bibliography of at least four scholarly books and/or articles
relevant to the source. You might choose a source from a unit of particular
interest to you. If you are not sure which source will interest you, consult
with your tutor. The assigned reading is probably an excerpt from a longer
work so your report should give a general description of the complete
source before focusing on the particular value of the assigned excerpt. Your
report will, in part, describe the source, but you should also explain the
source and argue your opinion about its value and limitations. Some of the
information you need to report will be contained in the reading itself while
some you will need to research, and some you will have to deduce from
what you read. Your final evaluation of the source, however, will be your
own, based on your intelligent reading.
Tips for Critical Reading: For most of the readings, attempting to
address the following questions will help you to evaluate your source:
Who wrote this source?
When and where did he/she/they live?
What kind of document is this source (for example, a letter)?
2 HUMN/HIST/RELS313/Assignment 1 (Primary Source Report)
Why did the author write it and for whom was it written?
What was the author’s perspective on the early Christians?
If the text is describing an event, how long after the event took place
was the text written?
If this is an excerpt from a longer source, how does the passage fit into
the source as a whole?
Are there any problems with the source (for example, parts that are
damaged, debate about the author, etc.)?
What aspect of early Christianity (or its neighbouring peoples) does
this document/excerpt describe?
The document may tell more about the author than it does about the
early Christians. If so, what did you learn from it?
Tips for Research: You will need to conduct some research to learn more
about the source. In some cases the course textbooks or assigned readings
may be helpful. If you use them, don’t forget to document them
appropriately. Otherwise you will need to consult reliable academic sources,
like the ones mentioned in Skills Module 1: Library Research Skill. Any
sources you consult or quote from should be properly cited to avoid
plagiarism and to demonstrate your research.
Warning: The course uses older translations of original documents
because these are now copyright-free (which saves you money). Some are
well over 100 years old which is why the style is a bit difficult at times.
Unfortunately, the notes, introduction, and background information
provided by old translations and editions may be out of date. It is better to
try and find more recent information. If space permits in your essay, you
could note any scholarly discrepancies that your research uncovers.
Annotated Bibliography: Attach a bibliography of at least four books
and/or articles relevant to the primary source in your report. Some of these
might be works you consulted while you prepared your report. The
bibliography should conform to the Chicago Style as explained in Skills
Module 2: Chicago Style Documentation. Annotate each item, and indicate
briefly how you found it (for example, “e-book found in AU library
catalogue” or “e-journal found using JSTOR database”).
Early Christians 3
Your report (and bibliography) will be evaluated on how accurately it
describes and explains the primary source and the quality of argument used
when evaluating the source. See the note titled Grading of Written Work in
the Course Information document. Quality and clarity of writing is also
taken into consideration. The comments your tutor adds when marking
your paper will justify your grade and give you advice on how to improve, so
please re-read your assignments and these comments.
Type of service: Academic paper writing
Type of assignment: Essay
Subject: Religion & Theology
Number of sources: 6
Academic level: Undergraduate
Paper format: MLA
Line spacing: Double
Language style: US English