Interpret: How do I analyze and evaluate this primary source?
Some questions students will learn to answer
- Why was this source created? What was its purpose?
- What information or evidence can I get from this source?
- What does this document mean?
- What information is missing from this source and how might I locate it?
Learning objectives this module will address
- Identify the key concepts inherent in the source.
- Understand how sources may be analyzed and used to answer research questions.
- Determine if the context of the sources is important to its interpretation.
- Understand how and why gaps and silences occur in the documentary record.
Sample exercises that may be used in this module
- On this date in ‘68: Developing context through university records about student protests.
- Tracing a space through time: Use fire insurance maps to understand local development and change.
- Picturing the past: Closely examine historical photographs and analyze their content and context.
- Where were you at the time in question? Interrogating documents and their place in the historical record.