READING a PRIMARY SOURCE

Primary Sources do not speak for themselves, they have to be interpreted. That is, we can't always immediately understand what a primary source means, especially if it is from a culture significantly different from our own. It is therefore necessary to try to understand what it means and to figure out what the source can tell us about the past.

To help you interpret primary sources, you should think about these questions as you examine the source:

A. Place the source in its historical context.

B. Classify the source.

C. Understand the source.

D. Evaluate the source as a source of historical information.