Acknowledging and Working With Source Discrepancies


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You're writing a paper on the effects of colonization on the native populations of the Americas. Your sources give dramatically different numbers for how many Native Americans died of diseases like Smallpox. What do you do?

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1. Polybius says that 70,000 Roman soldiers and about 5,700 Carthaginians died. Livy says that about 50,000 Romans and 8,000 Carthaginians died. Can you give, with 100% certainty, the number of Roman soldiers who died at the Battle of Cannae in 216 BC?

2. Secondary Source A and Secondary Source B disagree about the date of a battle. Which of the following could explain the disagreement?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Answer questions on how to work with source discrepancies. Topics include how to approach different source material for a research paper and the accuracy with regard to historical sources.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

Answer questions on these key points:

  • A disagreement between two sources
  • Type of source in which a book is written about a war by a participating general
  • How to properly address a source discrepancy

Skills Practiced

  • Reading comprehension - ensure that you draw the most important information from the related lesson on how to work with source discrepancies
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions concerning two sources that provide different information and how to briefly address a source discrepancy
  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained regarding a source about an event that is prepared by a participant

Additional Learning

For more on the subject, consider the lesson called Acknowledging and Working With Source Discrepancies. These areas will be discussed:

  • Definition of a source discrepancy
  • Different types of sources
  • Questions to consider when using sources
  • Examples of source discrepancies