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Prompt:  Select any ONE of the primary sources discussed in class and listed below for your convenience. Craft an argument that explains the strengths and weaknesses of this particular source in understanding religious beliefs in the historical period in which it was created.  What precautions or strategies should a historian employ in using this source? Is this source typical of peoples ideas about faith in this period or only reflective of a few? Be specific. While you may use other sources to contextualize your source, most of your discussion and citations should be from the primary source you have selected.( I choose Kabir Poems as the primary source and I post them firstly. others are other sources and the slides in class, you can use them too as other sources)

Your thesis paragraph should combine and respond to all the questions above in the opening paragraph of your paper. Remember your thesis does not need to be just one sentence, you can use the whole introductory paragraph to set up and contextualize your argument.

Primary sources for Paper one: Kabirs poems from Hawley and Juergensmeyer, Eknaths poem from the Zelliot essay (if you use this, make sure to evaluate zelliots analysis of this piece), Abul Fazl, Al-Badauni.

Instructions Formulate a clear analytical thesis that responds to the question posed above. Please use the evidence discussed in class and in the readings during weeks 1-3 to back up your argument.

You are encouraged to formulate your argument using only the class readings.  You are being evaluated on the basis of your ability to read and analyze these sources closely.


Papers will be short 5 page papers, double spaced, one inch margins.
This paper is graded on your ability to analyze the primary source you have selected against the historical context of its time. Do make sure that most of your citations are from that primary source.
You may use parenthetical citation in these shorter papers with authors last name and page number:  for example (Fazl 24) or (Hawley and Juergensmeyer 39).  You may have your classmates proof-read or comment on your paper, in fact, I encourage each of you to do this, but make sure that you acknowledge the help you get in your paper.  This is a part of practicing academic honesty.  A short note at the end of the paper acknowledging any help from other people is a good idea. You can cite slides from powerpoints in lecture this way–(Dhavan, date, slide no. 13); or alternatively in the video (Dhavan, date, 0:30) using the digital counter for the time elapse for the video.
Make sure that these short papers are analytical and express your own views, rather than summarizing the original text, or offer weak personal reactions not backed up by evidence from the text.  In other words, I am asking for an informed analysis of the readings, not descriptive summaries or emotional reactions.  Even if you agree 100% with an author, you need to explain why that argument is well-structured, or convincing, or provide the historical/social context for it.  In the case of primary documents make sure that you contextualize that document historically.
(I will upload other document soon, Now I just upload the Karbir poem which is the primary source)

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