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Source Analysis Student Guide
SOURCE ANALYSIS Questions Possible Responses
Origin What type ofdocument is it? Primary source, secondary source, newspaper, photograph,
diary, journal, lithograph, ephemera, propaganda, editorial
Who is the author/creator? Name OR a categpry (if name is not available) like “writer,”
“member of the revolution,” “someone in opposition to the
government”
What do you know about thebackground of
the author/creator? His/hereducation? Work
experience? Philosophical/ideological
foundation?
Where did he/she grow up? During what time did he/she
live? Where was he/she educated? What jobs has he/she
held over the years?
Do they haveany particularbeliefsystems --
religious,politicalor philosophical—thatare
important? Ifthis is a secondary work by a
historian, to what schoolofhistoriography do
they belong?
conservative, liberal, traditional, revisionist, post-revisionist,
communist, Marxist, socialist, moderate, religious
When was thedocument created? Date OR approximate time period if exact date is not known.
If it is a re-print or an “edition,” what edition is it?
Purpose Why do you think this document was
written?
to persuade, to inform, to explain, to determine, to explore,
to assess
What is the subjectmatter dealtwith inthe
document?
Describe briefly the content of the document
What is the main argument ofthe
document?
Describe briefly the main argument of the document
Value What about this document adds toyour
understanding ofthe topicyou arestudying?
Describe how the specific information in the document
relates to the topic you are studying
What about this document helps you to
know that itis unbiasedand objective?
well-researched, multiple sources of information,
information from a variety of perspectives, focused, well-
organized, considers different viewpoints
What about this document helps you to
understand thatis it valid andtruthful?
peer-reviewed, critiqued but respected by experts in the
field, published by a well-respected source/website
Limitations In what ways does this document NOTaddto
your understanding ofthetopic? What does
it not cover that might beuseful?
Describe how the specific information in the document is
NOT related to the topic you are studying
What about this document helps you to
know that itis biasedand subjective?
written from a single perspective, un-focused, disorganized,
does not consider different viewpoints, not well-
documented
What about this document helps you to
understand thatit is not valid or is not
truthful?
Not published in a well-respected source, not peer-
reviewed, not respected by scholars, information is
unsubstantiated by citations

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Opvl student guide

  • 1. Source Analysis Student Guide SOURCE ANALYSIS Questions Possible Responses Origin What type ofdocument is it? Primary source, secondary source, newspaper, photograph, diary, journal, lithograph, ephemera, propaganda, editorial Who is the author/creator? Name OR a categpry (if name is not available) like “writer,” “member of the revolution,” “someone in opposition to the government” What do you know about thebackground of the author/creator? His/hereducation? Work experience? Philosophical/ideological foundation? Where did he/she grow up? During what time did he/she live? Where was he/she educated? What jobs has he/she held over the years? Do they haveany particularbeliefsystems -- religious,politicalor philosophical—thatare important? Ifthis is a secondary work by a historian, to what schoolofhistoriography do they belong? conservative, liberal, traditional, revisionist, post-revisionist, communist, Marxist, socialist, moderate, religious When was thedocument created? Date OR approximate time period if exact date is not known. If it is a re-print or an “edition,” what edition is it? Purpose Why do you think this document was written? to persuade, to inform, to explain, to determine, to explore, to assess What is the subjectmatter dealtwith inthe document? Describe briefly the content of the document What is the main argument ofthe document? Describe briefly the main argument of the document Value What about this document adds toyour understanding ofthe topicyou arestudying? Describe how the specific information in the document relates to the topic you are studying What about this document helps you to know that itis unbiasedand objective? well-researched, multiple sources of information, information from a variety of perspectives, focused, well- organized, considers different viewpoints What about this document helps you to understand thatis it valid andtruthful? peer-reviewed, critiqued but respected by experts in the field, published by a well-respected source/website Limitations In what ways does this document NOTaddto your understanding ofthetopic? What does it not cover that might beuseful? Describe how the specific information in the document is NOT related to the topic you are studying What about this document helps you to know that itis biasedand subjective? written from a single perspective, un-focused, disorganized, does not consider different viewpoints, not well- documented What about this document helps you to understand thatit is not valid or is not truthful? Not published in a well-respected source, not peer- reviewed, not respected by scholars, information is unsubstantiated by citations