Introduction & Purpose

The ability to effectively research is an important tool that can be used in any field of study. Many times, it is necessary to get a first-hand perspective of an event or practice. Such reports are known as primary sources and show direct knowledge of and interaction with the thing being studied. When encountering a primary source, it is important to analyze it carefully, because the source can have some complexities involving the author, viewer, and applications of the text itself. Primary sources are written without hindsight, and therefore the author’s perspective is the only observable information. The author can easily tailor his experience to his own bias or opinion, often unknowingly. Also, the people viewing the source can influence and dictate the author’s take on the events. The text itself, even without the imposed actions of the author or viewer, could have agency, which can cause a reaction or consequence. It is very important to navigate primary sources with a sense of discretion and to analyze the information carefully. In this wiki, you will find many ways to approach a primary source and questions that you should ask when thoroughly researching subject matter.

Classical AD250-900 Colonial 1500 Modern 1900-Present

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