Evaluation of Sources

Attack on the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York, 11th September 2001.
Attack on the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York, 11th September 2001. Source: http://worldpittsburgh.wordpress.com

Once you have successfully analysed your sources, you have enough information to start evaluating how useful your sources are. The ability to evaluate a source is central to being a great history student. A careful examination of sources allows you to decide on their relevance, reliability, representativeness and accuracy. Your opinion on these things allows you to explain the worth of your sources.

 

SOURCE EVALUATION SKILLS

 

You need to use your source evaluation within your written arguments, overtly or subtly. You do not need to write a lot in order to do this. It is possible to show sophisticated evaluation through only a few well-chosen words. The ability to seamlessly incorporate your evaluation into your writing, without sounding too long-winded or disjointed, will improve your results.

Additional resources


What’s the Difference Between Source Analysis and Evaluation?

"lalibela-2062954" by Heiss. Used under Creative Commons CCO. Source: https://pixabay.com/en/lalibela-rock-church-ethiopia-2062954/
"lalibela-2062954" by Heiss. Used under Creative Commons CCO. Source: https://pixabay.com/en/lalibela-rock-church-ethiopia-2062954/
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Use these analysis skills...

...to justify these evaluation skills.
Information

What is the explicit meaning of the source? (Comprehension)

What is the implicit meaning of the source? (Interpretation)

How does this source corroborate the information from another source?

How does this source contradict the information from another source?

Usefulness

How relevant is this source to the topic you are studying? 

 

Origin

 

Who created the source? 

What kind and type of source is it?

Reliability

 

How trustworthy is the source?

 

Perspective

 

From what point of view is the source created? 

 

Context

 

When was the source created?

What historical events happened at this time that are important to the creation of this source?

 

Audience

 

Who was the intended audience of the source?

 

Motive

 

For what purpose was this source made?