Not all sources are created the same! When you are interacting with a range of different resources, from different sources, produced for different purposes, and by different people, you will need to be able to critically engage with that information. You will often hear librarians at UNA talk about the CRAAP test:
You should be asking yourself all of the above questions when working with information for your academic purposes as well as your everyday life.
When you're working with secondary sources, you should aim to incorporate primarily scholarly research into your coursework. Secondary sources, as we've covered, include scholarly articles, books and eBooks, monographs, and more. However, even though the work is scholarly in nature, you must make sure to approach the material with a critical and analytical mind. Scholars will make an argument, an intervention, or an analysis within their text, and it's important to remember that their perspective/opinion will be subjective. They must substantiate their claims through referencing other scholars and engaging with primary sources.
Ask yourself these questions:
Peer-Review is one method that the current scholarly community uses to help lend credibility and rigor to the publication process. Review the below video on Peer-Review for more.
Analyzing primary sources is all about engaging with the creator, their perspective, and the contents of their source. This is one of the most engaging and exciting aspects of performing historical research: taking that raw evidence of the past and using them to build a picture for a modern audience.
When you are working with primary sources, you should ask yourself these questions about a particular source:
Once you have determined what the source is saying, you can make an assessment for its use as a piece of historical evidence.