From: Dustin Hurt email@example.com
Time: 3:40:40 PM
Remote Name: 188.8.131.52
Dustin Hurt 8:30-10:00 Tuesday/Thursday Dr. Wm. Cutler
What makes a primary source more or less reliable?
It is a historianís job to examine historical sources and ask how they came to be. He must take in to account when, where, and why each document was made. It is important to examine how close, in time, the source was to the event it documents because information taken soon after the event will be most accurate. It is also helpful to understand what the document was prepared for. A newspaper article may tend to exaggerate the truth while a diary might be more honest since it was intended to be private. Primary sources are not all equally reliable. It is important for a historian to not believe the first account that he reads of any topic. He must examine several sources and check them with other sources to find the more likely truth. There are several things that a historian should look for when examining different sources. Questions that should be asked when trying to figure out what if a primary source more or less reliable are: Who created the source and why?; Is it an eyewitness account?; Was the document from a neutral observer?; Who was the document for?, What was the purpose of the document?; When was the document made? By answering these questions you should be able to tell if one document is a better source than an another by separating biased and second hand accounts from those stating facts in a neutral and informative way.