Primary and Secondary Sources        DR. MELISSA JORDINE       ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF HISTORY     CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERS...
Outline of Presentation Methods and Skills of History: A Practical Guide that    can be adapted for students at different...
Third Edition is the most recent: you can use             or adapt exercises                                     No audio
Methods & Skills: Chapter 9 I can e-mail you a pdf file consisting of the first half of Chapter 9, if you or a teacher wh...
Methods & Skills: Chapter 9 Introduces the following concepts: 1)Bias  2) Specialized information that might be needed or...
Primary Sources                  For audio, click on icon
Primary source: (Methods and Skills) -- An artifact or source created during the time period under study. -- A first-han...
Books and Articles   For audio, click here
Secondary Source (Methods & Skills) An account written after the events have taken place, by someone who did not observe ...
Definitions are relatively good . . . However, the idea that anyone living during a particular period is a primary source...
Keep in Mind: Historians never classify or analyze  Not Historians sources in a vacuum   Source (s)                  Sourc...
Key points about sources that students need to be                actively taught: Format: letter, book, article etc. does...
Key points & Students Primary Sources are not inherently more accurate or unbiased than secondary sources Sources can lie...
Key points and students No one source can tell us about an event; historians use multiple sources preferably from differe...
Using sources in class: A) explain to students what they are doing and what they are not doing (how what they are doing d...
Sources that are difficult for students to classify: Works with a narrative and primary sources located in the back of th...
Other Issues Archival Sources: Often in classroom exercises only one or two sources from a much larger number of relevan...
Other Issues: Stephen Ambrose is a prominent U.S. historian who claimed to have interviewed Eisenhower for hundreds of ho...
History Day Theme:         Debate and Diplomacy in History       Incredible opportunity for students to do research usin...
History Day Projects & Classifying Sources In addition to the usual rules distinguishing primary and secondary, there are...
Volumes of Primary Source Documents If a student is using both commentary and/or background information and using primary...
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Primary & secondary sources with lecture

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How to classify and use primary and secondary sources.

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Primary & secondary sources with lecture

  1. 1. Primary and Secondary Sources DR. MELISSA JORDINE ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF HISTORY CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FRESNO
  2. 2. Outline of Presentation Methods and Skills of History: A Practical Guide that can be adapted for students at different grade levels Classifying sources Challenges for students Providing context and thinking about other aspects of primary sources History Day Topic for this year and specific suggestions for sources students can use and how to classify them For audio, click on icon
  3. 3. Third Edition is the most recent: you can use or adapt exercises No audio
  4. 4. Methods & Skills: Chapter 9 I can e-mail you a pdf file consisting of the first half of Chapter 9, if you or a teacher who could not attend today are interested. This chapter begins with an interesting story about how identity was established in the 16th century and uses this story to point out that “evidence” can be problematic. The chapter focuses on the issues of identifying and analyzing sources and stresses the importance of corroborating evidence in History. For audio, click on icon
  5. 5. Methods & Skills: Chapter 9 Introduces the following concepts: 1)Bias 2) Specialized information that might be needed or changes in the meaning of words over time 3) Informed Common Sense #3 is problematic: If I were to say that Otto von Bismarck could not leave the house because the door was closed, your common sense would reject this statement although it is absolutely true. (The Otto in this specific case is a Dachshund and not the German Chancellor responsible for Unification) For audio, click on icon
  6. 6. Primary Sources For audio, click on icon
  7. 7. Primary source: (Methods and Skills) -- An artifact or source created during the time period under study. -- A first-hand or eyewitness account by a person who observed or participated in the event being studied; implies that all individuals living during the time period in which an event occurs are primary sources For audio, click on icon
  8. 8. Books and Articles For audio, click here
  9. 9. Secondary Source (Methods & Skills) An account written after the events have taken place, by someone who did not observe or participate in the event. Most secondary sources do not just describe but also analyze and/or interpret the event. The best secondary sources use primary sources as a basis for their inquiry, and as evidence for their key points or argument, but also consult all relevant secondary sources. For audio, click on icon
  10. 10. Definitions are relatively good . . . However, the idea that anyone living during a particular period is a primary source for events that occur during that period has produced considerable debate among historians who are not in complete agreement about this issue. Is George Washington a primary source in regard to the British treatment of American prisoners of war? Is someone who watched, on live television, the Berlin Wall being torn down a primary source? For audio, click on icon
  11. 11. Keep in Mind: Historians never classify or analyze Not Historians sources in a vacuum Source (s) Source (s) Source (s) Herodotus and other Historians Historical Inquiry about Question the past Black Hole For audio, click on icon
  12. 12. Key points about sources that students need to be actively taught: Format: letter, book, article etc. does not determine whether a source is primary or secondary Historical inquiry or specific focus/question determines whether a source is primary, secondary, or both For audio, click on icon
  13. 13. Key points & Students Primary Sources are not inherently more accurate or unbiased than secondary sources Sources can lie or omit key points; individuals can be biased and thus write “facts” that they believe are true such as that women are incapable of understanding concepts in math and science. For audio, click on icon
  14. 14. Key points and students No one source can tell us about an event; historians use multiple sources preferably from different perspectives Historians go back and forth between secondary and primary sources and review dozens of sources before reaching any, even tentative, conclusions For audio, click on icon
  15. 15. Using sources in class: A) explain to students what they are doing and what they are not doing (how what they are doing differs from an in-depth historical inquiry) B) provide necessary background or context in some form (lecture, reading assigned as homework, brief excerpt reviewed in class) C) use secondary and primary sources and choose carefully (some sources are more “exciting” but less relevant to the topic For audio, click on icon
  16. 16. Sources that are difficult for students to classify: Works with a narrative and primary sources located in the back of the book Sources that include statistics, quotes, and extensive information from primary sources Sources that provide an introduction or context before letters, interviews, or excerpts from memoirs For audio, click on icon
  17. 17. Other Issues Archival Sources: Often in classroom exercises only one or two sources from a much larger number of relevant works are used and this is problematic. Also, truly understanding the context of such sources requires in-depth research to use them effectively. For audio, click on icon
  18. 18. Other Issues: Stephen Ambrose is a prominent U.S. historian who claimed to have interviewed Eisenhower for hundreds of hours and whose many works influenced scholarship on Eisenhower and key issues. Recently archivists and historians have uncovered evidence that seem to indicate he falsified information and only interviewed Eisenhower for about five hours total. “Ambrose on Eisenhower: The Impact of a Single Faulty Quotation” by Ira Chernus. Link to this article: http://www.hnn.us/articles/126636.html For audio, click on icon
  19. 19. History Day Theme: Debate and Diplomacy in History  Incredible opportunity for students to do research using foreign diplomatic papers.  Students can use Documents on British foreign policy or on U.S. foreign policy  However, students can also use volumes (translated into English) containing documents on German Foreign Policy, Austrian Foreign policy, Soviet Foreign Policy; all available at Henry Madden Library on the Fresno State campus.  Students will have access to a far broader range of primary sources for a vast number of topics for History Day this year. For audio, click on icon
  20. 20. History Day Projects & Classifying Sources In addition to the usual rules distinguishing primary and secondary, there are two additional points:  Volumes of documents on Foreign Policy should be listed as primary sources, even if there is some background information or commentary.  If a student is using only the background information or commentary in a volume that has primary sources, than the source would be classified as secondary for the purposes of their paper. For audio, click on icon
  21. 21. Volumes of Primary Source Documents If a student is using both commentary and/or background information and using primary sources contained in one book or volume than they should indicate this in the first footnote (after citing the source in correct Turabian format) and state that all subsequent footnotes will indicate whether the information being cited is primary or secondary in parentheses at the end of the citation. For audio, click on icon

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