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Choose two specific Western cultures between 632-1000 C.E. Using these, build a comparison that identifies at least three differences and three similarities from political leadership, and economic and social and/or cultural elements. Highlight any shared influences, biases, and perspectives. Before your conclusion, you will write a paragraph in which you reflect on the guidelines for ethical and rigorous study of cultures detailed at the beginning of the unit lesson (mentioned in Step 1 below). As you finish your assignment, include conclusions drawn from both your comparisons and your reflection. The assignment steps below will provide more guidance.
Step 1: Review the section at the beginning of the Unit Lesson entitled “Be Careful When Making Historical Assumptions.”
Step 2: Choose two appropriate sources, not including the textbook. At least one source must come from the CSU Online Library. The Academic Search Ultimate and eBook Academic Collection databases in the CSU Online Library would be good places to start your search. Resources should be credible and peer-reviewed by historians and cannot include Wikipedia, Biography.com, History.com, or any other .com site; resources should also not be taken from any type of message board or other encyclopedia-type sites, including those listed in the CSU Online Library research guides, which are provided for quick reference only and not for paper research.
If you need additional help with using or locating information in the CSU Online Library, there are library video tutorials available on the main page of the online library under the heading “Research Guides.”
Step 3: Complete your research using the guidelines on ethical and rigorous research you reviewed in Step 1:
 Choose two specific times and locations to research. Specific times and locations are necessary to avoid generalization.
 Avoid all generalization beyond the data you have researched on those times and locations, including projections of your own views.
 Avoid anachronism, which is the use of data or circumstances from today as if they are evidence of what the past means. Form your conclusions using only data from the past.
 Compare like terms, meaning the same kinds of things, in a point-by-point comparison (rather than writing about one culture and then the other).
 Consider artifacts and other cultural products.
 Use strong sources as indicated above.
 Include at least one comparison drawn from each of the following: 1) politics; 2) social organization or cultural products; and 3) the economy.
Step 4: Prepare a reflection on your use of the guidelines for ethical and rigorous historical research. What was your experience of attempting to limit generalization, anachronism, and use of weak sources? The assignment is not considered complete without this component.
Step 5: Write your essay in this order without headings: introduction, comparisons, reflection, conclusions. Your essay must be at least 500 words in length.

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