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Thinking Like a Historian © Public Domain Historiographers, like St. Nestor the Chronicler who is shown in this painting, evaluate both primary and secondary sources. They reflect upon what potential bias each source may have and attempt to record history with as little bias as possible. It seems like every time you flip on the TV, there is a show where detectives are trying to solve some sort of a crime or mystery. In many ways, a historian’s work is like that of a detective. Historians carefully try to put together the pieces of history by looking at primary and secondary sources. This is similar to the way detectives look at evidence when trying to solve a case. In this assessment, you will have an opportunity to work like a true historian by looking at evidence and developing a logical conclusion based on sources presented to you. Although Japan and Europe are quite far away from one another geographically, have you ever wondered how medieval Europe and Japan compare? In this assessment, you will respond to a document-based question. A document-based question tests your ability to analyze primary and secondary sources. In addition to analyzing the sources, you will also have to use information that you learned about in this module to support your response to the prompt. Ready to start thinking like a historian? You will first be expected to analyze eight documents that deal with religious and economic influences on medieval Europe and Japan. Then you will choose at least five of these documents to discuss in your work in an attempt to defend your thesis. A thesis is an academic term used to state your claim or prove a point. Your thesis will directly answer the question: “In what ways did religion and economics influence the development of medieval Europe and Japan?” Your body paragraphs will support the thesis that you have developed. Before you complete the assessment, you will be provided with tips that will help you understand how to analyze sources and use them to respond to a prompt.