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Research Guides@Tufts

Tufts in American History

Slide show for Evaluating Primary Sources

This page includes tips for evaluating primary sources that you find on the web or in other places. To find primary source material from Tufts and American history, go to the page Primary Sources.

Tips for Evaluating Primary Sources

When evaluating primary or secondary sources, ask the following questions:

  • How does the author know these details (names, dates, times)? 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 (e.g., diary entries, along with third-party eyewitness accounts, impressions of contemporaries, newspaper accounts)?