HIST 215
Modern World History
Go Back to the Syllabus ADMN 200
MWF 1:45 PM — 2:50 PM

Ibn Batutta's Travels in Asia and Africa 1325-1354 will be the subject of the first writing assignment this semester. This is a close-reading exercise. This exercise asks you to assemble as much historical evidence as you can from the text in 300–600 words. Your aim here is to answer the following question What can we know, based upon what this fragment says, about the Kahns of the Golden Horde and the world in which they ruled?

For any deductions you might make about this world, you must explain why you think the evidence means what you say it does: Consider for example, that the author was a visitor here. You may wish to try to draw some conclusions about Ibn Battuta himself, his attitudes, outlook, and experience.

Do not distain the obvious in favor of the subtle, but don't be afraid to make broader assertions about this world as long as you can show that your assertions are well supported by the evidence at hand.

Direct quotations will be necessarily short in view of the length of the paper. All quotations or direct references to the text can be cited "ibnBatutta" followed by a paragraph number. If you make use of the longer Medieval Sourcebook edition on-line, make sure you cite it appropriately. This exercise is really too short to adduce evidence from other sources, but if you do, make sure you cite them appropriately using a consistent style like MLA or Chicago.

This paper will be evaluated, but it's intended to be a practice exercise, and the grade will not affect your mark for the course. 300–600 words in a standard font in 12pt type should be one to two pages. THIS IS VERY LITTLE SPACE, use it wisely. Proof-read your work! I will ignore minor typos, but bad syntax damages your meaning. If you mean what you say, you should take care to say what you mean. This paper will be due in class on Monday, September 24.

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