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Primary and Secondary Sources

Differentiating between primary and secondary sources

Ben Gwynne

on 4 March 2013

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Transcript of Primary and Secondary Sources

Primary vs. Secondary Sources first-hand information.
written or produced by people who:
Lived it, breathed it, ate it!
They give you an idea about what people alive at the time saw or thought about the event. What are primary sources? Diaries and journals
Example: Anne Frank was a teenager during World War II. She kept a diary or journal the years before she died in a concentration camp. Her diary was later published as the “Diary of Anne Frank”.

What is an autobiography?
Why would it be a primary source? Historical documents
Declaration of Independence
(They were drafted and signed)
Public Records
Government records
Birth Certificates
Court documents
Tax records Sound Recordings and interviews
Example 1: During the Great Depression and World War II, television had not been invented yet. The people would often sit around the radio to listen to President Roosevelt’s war messages. Those radio addresses are considered “primary sources.”
Example 2: During the 2008 election Barack Obama, had many interviews that were televised. Those interviews are considered primary sources. Primary Sources Paintings, drawings, sculpture fossils furniture coins artifacts What's the Source? Speeches
Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address”
Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream”
All of the President’s Inauguration Speeches. Photographs and videos
taken or filmed during an event. Primary Sources Photographs and videos
taken or filmed during an event. Letters
Example: Soldiers during wars wrote to their families about war events they experienced. Those letters are considered primary sources. Songs and Poems almanacs bibliographies—what is a bibliography? encyclopedias Charts, graphs, or images created AFTER the time period. history books Biographies
What is a biography?
Why would Dr. Martin Luther King’s be a secondary source? textbooks Books, magazines, newspapers can be primary sources. Other times they are secondary sources.
How can you tell the difference? Look at each of the following slides.
Pair with someone near you to discuss the identification of each picture. Explain to your partner WHY you think you answer is correct.
Watch as I do the first one for you! Let’s Practice! Classify these: primary or secondary? Classify these: Classify these: Have You Got It?
What is the difference between primary and secondary sources? Can You Relate?
Let’s go back to 9/11.
What kind of primary sources might you find?
What kind of secondary sources might you find?
Why would knowing the difference between these two sources be important?
Can you connect this skill to your life? In other words, what other things happening in the news right now might have primary and secondary sources to inform you? As you look at websites ask yourself some questions:
How does the author know these details?
Was the author present at the event or soon on the scene?
Where does this information come from—personal experience, eyewitness accounts, or reports written by others?
Are the author's conclusions based on a single piece of evidence, or have many sources been taken into account? Relating Primary and Secondary Sources to Research Choose one of the following to answer as your “ticket out the door.”
Explain the difference between primary and secondary sources.
Explain what they have in common.
Identify why these types of sources are important.
What criteria would you use to assess a website or item to see if it is considered a primary or secondary source?
Name 1 thing you learned from this lesson and how it can help you in the future. In Closing second-hand information

something written about a primary source.

written after an event--at a later date.

NOT evidence, but comments on and discussions of the evidence.

interpret or evaluate primary sources. What is a Secondary Source? Bibliographies are also secondary
sources. Can you explain why?
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