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SOAPS Document Analysis

Document Analysis
When reading a document, including primary sources, use the following categories to analyze the document to better
understand its meaning and significance. Remember a document can be a letter, a newspaper article, an official record,
law, or treaty, a map, a drawing, a cartoon, a painting, and just about any written (or drawn) article from the past.
Speaker – Who is the author or speaker?
What information do you know about the speaker? What is the author’s point of view? What can you infer?
Occasion – What is the occasion?
Describe the historical context including date, location, related events/issues. What happened to cause this to be
said/written/drawn? Why was it recorded?
Audience – Who is the audience?
Describe the intended audience, both what you can see explicitly in the document and what you can infer.
Purpose – Why was this spoken/written/drawn? What purpose does it serve or intend to serve?
Include explicit purpose described/shown in the document and what you can infer.
Subject – What is this about?
Again, include what is explicitly included and what you can infer.
Additional Analysis:
Tone – What is the author’s tone?
Describe the feelings/emotions that the speaker has toward the subject. (info/infer)