Enquiry Skills/Sources

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What is a source?

A source is anything. Absolutely anything that relates to the time period you’re studying. A letter addressed to Gavrillo Princip is a source. A school textbook is a source.

Wait. A school textbook? How? Now, I can’t answer that question in a single sentence, so now, you will learn about Primary and Secondary sources.

Primary Sources[edit]

A Primary source is a source that comes from the time period you’re studying. It can be anything, from a letter, to a gramophone to a painting. The Bayeux Tapestry, depicting the Battle of Hastings is a source. We’ll look at that later.

Secondary Sources[edit]

A Secondary source is a source that doesn’t come from the time period you’re studying. It can also be anything, but more often, it’s the written word. A school textbook is an example. Secondary sources can be a summary of primary sources as well as a summary of other secondary sources.