Presentation on theme: "WHAT THEY ARE AND HOW TO USE THEM STUDYING HISTORY WITH PRIMARY SOURCES."— Presentation transcript:
WHAT THEY ARE AND HOW TO USE THEM STUDYING HISTORY WITH PRIMARY SOURCES
WHAT IS A PRIMARY SOURCE? What is a primary source? Definition: A primary source is a document or physical object which was written or created during the time under study What are some examples? Examples: Journal entries, photographs, letters, speeches, home movies
WHAT IS A SECONDARY SOURCE? What is a secondary source? Definition: A resource that was created later by a researcher who did not experience the event first- hand. Examples? Examples: Textbooks, encyclopedias, scholarly articles Can such examples be primary sources? If so, when/how?
WHY STUDY PRIMARY SOURCES? Why do historians study primary sources? Historians study primary sources to make inferences and draw conclusions about the event they are studying. But can all primary sources be trusted? Are some primary sources biased? Do Historians have biases? How helpful are they if you know nothing about the event? How do historians make inferences when studying primary sources?
RELIABILITY OF PRIMARY SOURCES Primary Sources do not always tell you how it really was in the past. Reliability depends on what you’re trying to find out Document may not be accurate or truthful, but still be considered reliable Is the image reliable evidence of what Nazis felt during WWII? Is the image reliable evidence of what Jews thought during WWII?
BIAS IN PRIMARY SOURCES Many sources are created by people who have motives & opinions These can make a source one-sided or biased Often occurs when authors leave out info or exaggerate images or language. Is the document biased? How so?
USING YOUR BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE Need some sort of knowledge about the event to make sense of a source Don’t always speak for themselves Must use your background knowledge to interpret & explain the event Can you make sense of the source? What might you need to know to make sense of it?
HOW TO MAKE INFERENCES An inference is a belief you come to accept based on other facts Example: You come home and find the cookies eaten with your dog passed out nearby. Must consider reliability, bias, and background knowledge to make good inferences. What fair inferences can we make from studying the document? Unfair?