Essay on Using Primary Sources in Research

Essay on Using Primary Sources in Research

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A common debate in the social studies classrooms and discussions in recent years revolves around the use of a particular type of resource, the primary source. Some are skeptical about the use of primary sources having a strong impact. Many believe that the use of primary sources allows students insight into the minds and personal stories of those who actually experienced the events and the stories behind all key concepts in social studies. The studies that are reviewed in the present paper provide evidence of the latter. (Gradwell, 2010; Hicks, Doolittle, & Lee, 2004; Malkmus, 2010, Milman & Bondie, 2012)
In this review the focus will be on the use of primary sources in the social studies classroom. A primary source in these studies would be considered text, audio, video, or other documents or artifacts that come directly from a particular time period being studied. A social studies classroom can typically include a variety of social sciences, such as geography, political science, government, or economics, but in the majority of these studies the social studies classroom mainly means a history class.
These studies also discuss various types of primary sources. They three most common types mentioned are web based sources, classroom based sources, and digital primary sources. Web based and digital primary sources both refer to resources made available through the internet. The classroom based sources are physical sources provided in the textbook or sources that the teacher may have been provided or collected through the years.
In most cases it seems that primary sources prove to be a useful tool in engaging students and promoting skills and lessons that may have otherwise been either boring or difficult. While using primary sources...

... middle of paper ... also important in the undergraduate classrooms.

Works Cited

Gradwell, J. M. (2010). Using sources to teach history for the common good: A case of one
teacher’s purpose. The Journal of Social Studies Research, 34(1), 59-76. Retrieved from
Hicks, D. , Doolittle, P., & Lee, J. K. (2004). Social studies teachers' use of classroom-based and
web-based historical primary sources. Theory & Research in Social Education, 32(2),
213-247. doi: 10.1080/00933104.2004.10473253
Malkmus, D. (2010). “Old stuff” for new teaching methods: Outreach to history faculty teaching
with primary sources. Libraries and the Academy, 10(4), 413-435. doi:
Milman, N. B., & Bondie, R. (2012). An examination of teachers’ ratings of lesson plans using
digital primary sources. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education,
12(4), 391-407. Retrieved from ERIC.

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