Evaluating Historical Sources
Say for example that I was going to recount the history of any given war. I would need a variety of sources to fully support my paper. This would allow me to get reactions from both sides of the war. I could obtain information as to what led up to it and the causes that made it begin. I could obtain information as to what the reaction and recovery was in the aftermath of the war. This could be done by getting a variety of sources, books, newspapers, magazines, and the internet. If I only chose to take a few articles from the local paper that boasted it's triumphant win I would lose most if not all of the strength in my paper to fully explain what exactly happened at that war.
A Primary source is one that is the original. Secondary sources evaluate or opinionate about something else. An example of a primary source could be an autobiography or diary. An example of a secondary source could be a biography or review of something like a play or book. Primary sources are better because they are providing information in the raw, but secondary sources are equally important. For example if I wanted to know how Fahrenheit 911 effected viewers it would be nice to see the movie (the movie being the primary source) but I would also want to know what types of reviews it got and public reaction to the film. These reviews and public reactions would be secondary sources. I have found that secondary sources can also be particularly helpful in persuasive writing. If I were