Doing History Day Research
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Doing History Day Research. Secondary Sources Start your research with secondary sources to learn the story. Primary Sources Use primary sources as the basis for interpretation. Always make appointments to use primary source materials. Secondary Sources.

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Secondary Sources Start your research with secondary sources to learn the story. Primary Sources

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Secondary sources start your research with secondary sources to learn the story primary sources

Doing History Day Research

Secondary Sources

Start your research with secondary sources to learn the story.

Primary Sources

Use primary sources as the basis for interpretation.

Always make appointments to use primary source materials.


Secondary sources start your research with secondary sources to learn the story primary sources

Secondary Sources

  • Are accounts of the past created by people writing about events after they have happened

  • Are what historians (and History Day participants) create

  • Books/Textbooks

  • Encyclopedias

  • Articles

  • Websites

Examples


Secondary sources start your research with secondary sources to learn the story primary sources

Secondary Sources

  • Provide an introduction to a topic

  • Provide historical/broader context for a topic

  • Show how has a topic been interpreted by other historians

  • Provide hints on where to find primary evidence

  • Provide information which enables historians to make sense of primary sources


Secondary sources start your research with secondary sources to learn the story primary sources

Primary Sources:

  • Are left behind by participants or observers

  • Make personal connections to the past

  • Are evidence used by historians to

  • support their interpretation of the past


Secondary sources start your research with secondary sources to learn the story primary sources

Primary Sources:

Published materials: Books (including memoirs), magazines, and newspapers contemporary to the event


Secondary sources start your research with secondary sources to learn the story primary sources

Primary Sources:

Unpublished materials: Diaries, letters, manuscripts


Secondary sources start your research with secondary sources to learn the story primary sources

Primary Sources:

Records: Government documents, census data, birth certificates, organizational minutes, business reports


Secondary sources start your research with secondary sources to learn the story primary sources

Primary Sources:

Images: Photographs, film, art and posters, advertisements, maps


Secondary sources start your research with secondary sources to learn the story primary sources

Primary Sources:

  • Audio:

  • Oral Histories

  • Interviews

  • Recordings


Secondary sources start your research with secondary sources to learn the story primary sources

Primary Sources:

Artifacts: Buildings, Tombstones, Clothing


Secondary sources start your research with secondary sources to learn the story primary sources

Primary Sources:

  • Understand the source:

  • What is it?

  • Who wrote or made it?

  • When was it written or made?

  • Where was it written or made?

  • How was it written or made?

  • What evidence does this source contribute to my research?


Primary sources

Primary Sources:

Interpret the source:

  • Did the creator have firsthand knowledge?

  • What biases or hidden agendas did the creator have?

  • Is the document meant to persuade or inform?

  • Was the source originally meant to be private or public?

  • When was the source created? Soon after the event, years later?

  • Who created the source and for what original purpose?

  • Why was this document/object written or made?

  • What questions does this source raise? What don’t we know about this source?

  • What other information do we have about this document or object?

  • What other sources are like this one?

  • What other sources might help answer our questions about this one?

  • What else do we need to know in order to understand the evidence in this source?

  • What have others said about this or similar sources?

  • How does this source help me to answer my key historical questions?

  • How does evidence from this source alter or fit into existing interpretations of the past?


Secondary sources start your research with secondary sources to learn the story primary sources

Using Research Sources Recap

  • Secondary Sources

  • Start your research with secondary sources to learn the story.

  • Secondary Sources :

  • Are accounts of the past created by people writing about events after they have happened.

  • Are what historians (and History Day participants) create.

  • Secondary Sources include:

  • Books

  • Encyclopedias

  • Articles

  • Websites

  • Secondary Sources:

  • Provide an introduction to a topic.

  • Provide historical/broader context for a topic.

  • Show how has a topic been interpreted by other historians.

  • Provide hints on where to find primary evidence.

  • Provide information which enables historians to make sense of primary sources

Primary Sources

Use primary sources as the basis for interpretation.

Primary Sources:

Are left behind participants or observers;

Make personal connections to the past;

Are evidence used by historians to support their interpretation of the past.

Primary Sources Include:

Published materials: Books (including memoirs), magazines, newspapers written at the time of the event

Unpublished materials: Diaries, letters, manuscripts

Records: Government documents, census data, birth certificates, organizational minutes, business reports

Images: Photographs, film, art and posters, advertisements, maps

Audio: Oral Histories, Interviews, Recordings

Artifacts: Buildings, Tombstones, Clothing

Understand Your Primary Sources:

What are they?

Who wrote or made them?

When were they written or made?

Where were they written or made?

How were they written or made?

What evidence do these sources contribute to your research?

Interpret Your Primary Sources:

Did the creator have firsthand knowledge?

What biases or hidden agendas did the creator have?

Is the document meant to persuade or inform?

Was the source originally meant to be private or public?

When was the source created? Soon after the event, years later?

Who created the source and for what original purpose?

Why was this document/object written or made?

What questions does this source raise? What don’t we know about this source?

What other information do we have about this document or object?

What other sources are like this one?

What other sources might help answer our questions about this one?

What else do we need to know in order to understand the evidence in this source?

What have others said about this or similar sources?

How does this source help me to answer my key historical questions?

How does evidence from this source alter or fit into existing interpretations of the past?


Secondary sources start your research with secondary sources to learn the story primary sources

For More Information:

History Day Research at the University of Washington Libraries

http://www.lib.washington.edu/subject/History/historyday/

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Pacific Alaska Region

http://www.archives.gov/facilities/wa/seattle/public_services.html#historical

http://www.archives.gov/digital_classroom/lessons/analysis_worksheets/worksheets.html

Check out uidaho.edu/special-collections/Other.Repositories.html for URLs and other contact information for the colleges, universities, historical societies and museums which hold primary sources for your topics.


Secondary sources textbooks http www nysl nysed gov teacherguides strike activity1 htm

Secondary Sources - Textbookshttp://www.nysl.nysed.gov/teacherguides/strike/activity1.htm

  • Classroom textbooks may be the first place you look for information about historical events, but they may not contain enough information, or present historical events in an unbiased way. That is because they are secondary sources; in other words, the authors themselves were not witnesses to all the events included in the books. In addition, they or their editors have made certain choices regarding what to include or leave out of the texts. Encyclopedias, dictionaries, Internet Web sites, biographies, historical non-fiction books are other examples of secondary sources.


Secondary sources textbooks

Secondary Sources - Textbooks

  • Because textbooks must contain a great deal of historical information, events that were important when they occurred may be described in a paragraph or two in the texts, due to space considerations. The choices made by editors or authors affect our understanding or opinions regarding history, sometimes causing us to favor one side in a conflict over another. Regardless of the length, textbook accounts of historical events should answer basic questions about topics and events.

  • These questions are known in newspaper writing as the "5 Ws": who, what, when, where, why - and then, what was the result.


Primary vs secondary sources

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

  • To truly research a topic or event in history, you may begin with secondary sources to get some information, but you will need to also use primary sources, information about the topic or event from the actual time period in which the event occurred. Primary sources fall into six categories:

    • Published materials: Books (including memoirs), magazines, and newspapers contemporary to the event

    • Records: Government documents, census data, birth certificates, organizational minutes, business reports, marriage licenses, laws, trial transcripts, deeds

    • Unpublished materials: Diaries, letters, manuscripts

    • Images: Photographs, film, art and posters, advertisements, maps

    • Audio: eye or ear witness accounts, such as an oral history or interview with someone who was actually present at the time of the event, or someone's diary; interviews, recordings

    • Artifacts: physical remains, such as photographs, newspaper articles from the period, buildings, clothing,, Tombstones, etc.


Comparing primary and secondary sources

Comparing Primary and Secondary Sources

  • In this activity, you will compare how the Railroad Strike of 1877 (sometimes called "The Great Strike of 1877") is reported in the textbooks with several actual reports of the strike printed in an important newspaper from that time period, The Albany Argus.


Step 1

Step 1

  • Go to the NHD Hotlist at

  • http://www.kn.att.com/wired/fil/pages/listnhdnsdkb.html

  • Under the Research Sources – Primary Documents category find the three textbook entries labeled Textbook #1, #2, and #3.

  • Read all three excerpts. On Textbook #2 you will have to scroll down to the section on the Strike of 1877. It is only a paragraph long

  • Once you have read all three then, fill in the Comparing Primary and Secondary Sources Matrix (chart) under SECONDARY SOURCE. You will be answering the questions using the text you’ve just read as your only resource. Don't worry if you have some empty spaces.


Secondary sources start your research with secondary sources to learn the story primary sources

  • Next, carefully read Documents #1, 2A, and 3, originally published in The Albany Argus in July, 1877. You will find them in the NHD Hotlist under the Primary Sources

  • Determine the meaning of any unfamiliar terms by using the dictionary, context clues from the article, or asking an adult.

  • Using information from the documents, fill in the chart under PRIMARY SOURCE, answering the questions using the newspaper articles as your only resource. Do not refer back to information you found only in the textbook.


Look at your results compare both sides of the chart discuss the answers to these questions

Look at your results (compare both sides of the chart). Discuss the answers to these questions:

  • Why was this strike important? Support your opinion with evidence from the sources.

  • Which column, SECONDARY or PRIMARY, contains more information?

  • Which source provided a clearer picture of the event? Why?

  • Which source was easier to read? Why? Support your opinion with evidence from the sources.

  • Which source helped you better understand why the workers went on strike?

  • Did any source seem to support or favor one side over another in the strike? Support your opinion with evidence from the sources.

  • Why might it be better to use secondary and primary sources to learn the complete story of an event? Why might historians use several secondary sources as well as several primary sources to research a topic or event?


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