An EXTRACTION question challenges the student to get as much out of the source as they can.
- What can we learn from Source A about...?
- What does Source D tell us about...?
- Write down at least 3 things the source tells you
- Write down what you can infer, if there are any messages, or if the source is trying to create an impression by making you think in a certain way
- Write down what the source tells you about when it was created, the situation in which it was created and/or what the source tells you about the author
SIMILARITIES & DIFFERENCES
A SIMILARITY/DIFFERENCE question asks a student to compare and contrast a number of sources.
- Do the sources agree about...?
- In what way do Sources A and B differ about...?
- HOW - compare simple things, e.g. what they agree/disagree on, and similarities/differences in tone, approach, message etc.
- WHY - look at the label on the source, e.g. who wrote it, when, in what context or situation and why it was written
- Wherever possible use quotes from the source to back up your points
- Make a conclusion summing up how and/or why they are similar or different
RELIABILITY questions want students to judge how accurate and reliable a source is.
- How accurate is Source C as a source of information...?
- How reliable is...?
- Find out if the source is biased or exaggerated by looking at the language used. See if the source gives you an accurate picture and compare to other sources
- Look at the label to find out who wrote it and when. Work out if the author is well respected or has motive to lie
- Back up all of your points with evidence in your conclusion
UTILITY questions ask how useful a source is.
- How useful is Source D to a Historian studying surgery in the Middle Ages?
- QUALITY and QUANTITY - How much information it gives you and how reliable it is
- See if it is the type of information you need in relation to the question
- Look at sufficiency - see if the source gives you the whole story and identify its limitations and explain what it is used for
- Say whether you can trust the source, who wrote it, and why
- Remember the source reveals a lot about something, whether it is the individual's opinion or the organisation that produced it
CONCLUSION questions usually ask students to debate a particular issue and to use the sources to back up the conclusion they come to.
- Use all the sources to debate...
- Do all the sources agree that public health improved at different times for different reasons?
- Look through all the sources with the question in mind
- Remember the sources have been selected to support both sides of the argument
- Make sure you account for accuracy and reliability in your conclusion