Summary/Analysis Paper Instructions for Girl With A Pearl Earring


Western Civilizations 1600-Present, Spring 2010


Quiz & Discussion 2/2


Paper Due 2/9


This paper should include your responses to Tracy Chevalier’s Girl With A Pearl Earring.  The paper should answer ALL of the Questions for Consideration below, but feel free to comment on other information included in the book.  Direct quotes must have quotation marks and the page number on which they appear should also be included (see instructions on the back of this page). Your papers can also comment on material related to information presented in lecture (by the way, this is one way to show analysis).  Papers must be typed, double-spaced, and well written (correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.).  There is no page requirement, but I will guess that it will probably take at least 1,000 words, or four pages to answer the questions with enough supporting detail.  Make sure to include a title page and follow the other technical details (five points) and staple the pages together. Do not buy a cover for the paper.


The easiest way to organize this paper is to answer each question in its own paragraph or series of paragraphs.  If you would rather write a formal essay that incorporates the answers to the Questions for Consideration, that is fine.  The layout/organization of this paper is entirely up to you. 


The quiz over the book will be the first 15 minutes of class on the date of the discussion.  The quiz will be open note and open book.  Students may use any handwritten (not photocopied or typed) notes they have written to help with this quiz, but may not share notes written by others.




Questions for Consideration


1.     Describe the following characters:  Agnes, Cornelia, Frans, Maria Thins, van Leeuwenhoek, and Tanneke. Who were they?  What role did they play in the story?

2.     In what ways does the book show daily life for people living in the Netherlands in the 1600s?  (For example, how did people’s homes differ?  What type of food was commonly eaten?  In what ways did people carry on their day-to-day activities?  What types working conditions did people face? What was dating like?)

3.     How do events in the book demonstrate conditions experienced by Dutch women in the 1660s & 1670s?  What opportunities were available?  What obstacles did they face?

4.     Describe the relationship between Griet & Vermeer.  In what ways was this a typical relationship between a maid and her master?  In what ways was it unique?

5.     How can the “Triangle” of characters involving Griet (and her family), the Vermeers, & van Ruijven demonstrate the differences in wealth & social class as shown in the book?

6.     What are the strengths & weaknesses of this book as a source to learn about daily life for people in Europe (particularly the Netherlands) in the 17th century?  (Hint:  What was the author's background? Was the book believable/credible?  Why/why not?   How would you describe the author's writing style/book's organization? Was it easy/enjoyable to read?  Why/why not?  Links to additional sources could help to address the book's credibility here).



Citation Format Style


1.     Underline or italicize the titles of books or ships.


2.     Spell out all numbers between zero and nine.


3.     Please do not place your name anywhere on your paper other than the title page.  I try to grade papers anonymously.


4.     Watch verb-tense; usually past tense is best to use while writing, but the paper may be written using either past or present tense.  Just make sure to be consistent.


5.     Try to avoid over-use of quotations, but any quotation longer than four lines should be indented fives paces and single-spaced (rather than double-spaced).   If/when this is done, there is no need for quotation marks.


6.     Example of how a direct quote taken from the book you are assigned to read should be cited: 


“The Geneva Accords of 1954 reflected these influences” (41).


7.     Example of how to cite a direct quote taken from a book review or a source other than the assigned book: 


“The prose style of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s work Uncle Tom’s Cabin elicits an emotional response from readers” (Stevenson 1981, 52).


8.     If a source other than the book that is assigned is used, a list of references is required.  The reference page should be the last page of the paper and entries should be organized in alphabetical order according to author (not numbered).  Entries should also be single-spaced within the entry and double-spaced between each entry.


a)     Example for a book:


Cronon, William.  Changes in the Land.  New York:  Hill and Wang,



b)    Example for a journal article:


Jackson, Richard.  “Running Down the Up-Escalator.”  Australian

          Geographer 14 (May 1979):  175-184.


c)     Example for internet sources:


DiStefano, Vince. “Guidelines for Better Writing.”^vinced/home/better-writing.html.


d)    Example for Lecture:


Nagle, Michael.   Progressives & WWI.  February 12, 2005.