Primary vs. Secondary Resources in Historical Research


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question 1 of 3

Which of the following is NOT a primary source?

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1. Which statement best describes the role of bias in primary sources?

2. Which of the following is NOT a secondary source?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

When historians research an idea, person or event from the past, they typically rely on primary resources that are direct accounts written during the same time of the subject or event, as well as secondary sources or interpretations of history based on a variety of types of information. This quiz/worksheet combo will help you understand the difference between primary and secondary sources, and how to use both when studying and writing about history.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

In these assessments, you'll be tested on:

  • The definition of primary source
  • Examples of primary sources
  • Examples of secondary sources
  • Problems with bias in historical sources
  • Dangers of using too many secondary sources in history writing

Skills Practiced

This quiz and worksheet lets students practice the following skills:

  • Information recall - access information about primary and secondary historical resources
  • Knowledge application - use your understanding of historical resources to answer questions about primary and secondary sources and their uses
  • Critical thinking - use your understanding of bias in historical resources to examine how to determine bias in a secondary source

Additional Learning

To learn more, review the accompanying lesson on primary vs. secondary historical resources. This lesson covers the following objectives:

  • Understand primary and secondary resources
  • Recognize examples of primary and secondary resources
  • Understand the value of using both primary and secondary resources
  • Understand the importance of balancing biased resources