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Primary and Secondary Sources. What are primary sources ?. actual eye witness accounts of events original documents related to an event. Examples of Primary Sources. Diaries / Letters / Journals Speeches / Interviews Audio and Video Recordings Photographs

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what are primary sources

What are primary sources?

actual eye witness accounts of events

original documents related to an event

examples of primary sources
Examples of Primary Sources
  • Diaries / Letters / Journals
  • Speeches / Interviews
  • Audio and Video Recordings
  • Photographs
  • Original literary or theatrical works
  • Original advertisements
  • Magazine and Newspaper Articles (as long as they are written soon after the fact)
questions to ask yourself when looking at primary sources
Questions to ask yourself when looking at Primary Sources
  • Who wrote it?
  • How do they know the information they are telling me?
  • Why did they write it or create it?
  • When did they write it or create it?
  • Who was it written or created for?
time and place rule
Time and Place Rule
  • To judge the quality of a primary source, historians use the time and place rule.
  • the closer in time and place a source and its creator were to an event in the past, the better the source will be.
bias rule
Bias Rule
  • The historians' second rule is the bias rule.
  • It says that every source is biased in some way.
  • Documents tell us only what the creator of the document thought happened, or perhaps only what the creator wants us to think happened.

As a result, historians follow these bias rule guidelines when they review evidence from the past:

  • Every piece of evidence and every source must be read or viewed skeptically and critically.
  • No piece of evidence should be taken at face value. The creator's point of view must be considered.
  • Each piece of evidence and source must be cross-checked and compared with related sources and pieces of evidence.
examples of primary sources1
Examples of Primary Sources

This is an original advertisement for Coca Cola.

examples of primary sources2
Examples of Primary Sources
  • This is an original letter written by Thomas Jefferson to John Adams in 1788.
examples of primary sources3
Examples of Primary Sources

This is an original map created in 1776 which shows New England in Colonial times.

what are secondary sources

What are secondary sources?

Sources which interpret or explain primary sources

examples of secondary sources
Examples of Secondary Sources
  • Text Books
  • Encyclopedias
  • Dictionaries
  • Books that interpret history
  • Articles that interpret history
  • Videos that interpret history
examples of secondary sources1
Examples of Secondary Sources

A text book is a secondary source written about primary sources.

examples of secondary sources2
Examples of Secondary Sources

World Book Encyclopedias are secondary sources of information.

think about it
Think About It???????

Why do you think historians use both primary and secondary sources?

How do you think primary sources can be used?