How do I approach a source analysis question?

To do well on a source analysis question there are three key elements which you will need to understand: the content of the source, the origin of the source and the purpose of the source. It is important to read your source and find the content, origin and purpose before you go ahead and start writing your answer. Content: Read the source at least a couple of times and try to understand what the message of the source is - what does it mean? Does it have an underlying message? Origin: Who produced the source and what context were they writing in? Was the source written during or after an event? It is important to use this context to help you understand the content and the message conveyed. Thinking about its origins, try to analyse whether the content of the source is reliable and ultimately useful to historians. Purpose: Using the source provenance, try to figure out why the source was produced in the first place. For example, was it produced as a piece of propaganda? Read the tone of the messaging, understand who the source was aimed for and what kind of audience it intended to have.By analysing these elements and showing a true understanding for the motives behind the source, especially using context, you will show a strong ability to understand the value of sources and their differing levels of utility to historians.

Answered by Yasmin M. History tutor


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