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Social Studies Class 4th Grade » Primary and Secondary Resources

Primary and Secondary Resources Primary and Secondary Resources

Primary and Secondary Sources

Clues left from the past make up the historical record.  These clues include both primary and secondary sources in the form of books, personal papers, government documents, letters, oral accounts, diaries, maps, photographs, reports, artifacts, coins, stories, stamps, etc. 

Primary sources provide firsthand evidence of historical events.  They are actual records that have survived from the past, such as letters, photographs, articles of clothing, journals, speeches, interviews, diaries, videos, autobiographies, artifacts, etc. 

Secondary sources summarize, explain,comment on, or draw conclusions from primary sources.  They are accounts of the past created by people writing about events sometime after the event.  Examples of secondary sources are textbooks, encylopedias, etc.

 To practice identifying secondary sources.

 To play a game and practice identifying primary and secondary sources.

 To practice indentifying primary and secondary sources.

Examples of Primary and Secondary Sources

Subject

Primary Source

Secondary Source

Media studies

Record: Magazine circulation figures

Article about reading habits

Political Science

Record: Voting statistics

Book about elections

History

Document: Surrender agreement

Essay about the end of the war

Anthropology

Document: Tape recording of men & women talking about their jobs

Essay about gender roles at work

Art

Creative work: Original painting

Biography of the painter

English

Creative work: Novel

Review or critique of the novel

Medicine

*Research: Medical scientists report on drug tests

Advertisement quoting the test results

Psychology

*Research: Report of an empirical study of the relationship between parenting behavior and juvenile crime

Newspaper article about parenting that mentions the study

from: Lake Sumter Community College

Guidelines to Determine Whether a Source is Primary or Secondary


Primary Source

Secondary Source

Written first

Written second

Published in a scholarly journal

Found in the popular media

Several pages long

Usually much shorter

Written by the people who did the research

Written by others

Written for other scholars or professionals

Written for non-specialists

Follows a scientific model: usually includes an abstract, a statement of the question under investigation, a description of the research methods, a report of the results, and a discussion of the researchers conclusions.

No specific pattern or required elements. Primary aim is to engage the readers attention.

from: Lake Sumter Community College

Online Sites for Primary Sources

American Memory Timeline

Charters of Freedom

Archiving Early America

Maryland State Archives

American Rhetoric

National Archive

Repositories of Primary Sources

Rare Map Collection

The Authentic History Center

Core Documents of US History

 

 







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