Working with Primary Sources
© 2004 Edward Osowski

1. Basic Information

A. Author/s and title of original source
B. Event that author is reporting
C. Date and at what point the event takes place in the whole narrative
D. Location

2. Author’s/Authors’ Profile

A. As a member of a group/several groups (religious, political, racial, economic class, etc.)
B. How as an individual, might his/her personality affect how it is reported?

3. Audience—Who did author intend to read this, and what might they have wanted to hear?

4. Empathy for cultural conditioning and limitations of experience

A. Terms of author’s experience that shape his/her interpretation of the event.
B. Terms of your experience that shape your interpretation of the event.

5. Based on questions 2-4, how might the author’s motivations affect what he/she said (cite particular statements or passages)

6. Your interpretation of what really happened (I provide a more specific question).