School History Day events are happening fast and furious in these early days of February, and students are making changes and updates to their projects. This series of blogs will offer hints for each category to help students make the best possible showing at school and possibly regional events.
Primary sources can be a tricky business: what are they? where are they? how do I use them?
In some situations, it can be difficult to pin down the exact nature of a primary source, especially when it comes to citing that source in a bibliography. And even trickier still, a lot of people have slightly different definitions of what constitutes a primary source.
Here are a few rules of thumb to think about, regarding primary sources:
The time is nearing.
Topics have been chosen, research is in full swing, students are starting to ponder color schemes and costume choices. That can only mean that the time for one of the most difficult steps in the process is at hand: the writing of the thesis statement.
Most History Day students are now at some step in the research phase and may be starting to get that “deer in the headlights” look about them. Once the initial Google search and sweep of the school library are complete, it can be a challenge for some students in deciding where to turn next.
One difficulty with this year’s theme, “Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History,” is that some students will pull the first revolution that pops into their head and determine that is the topic they will tackle.
This is entirely logical, especially for younger students or students who do not have a lot of historical pre-knowledge. But it can also cause headaches if they envision their topic as the revolution in general and try to cover too much of the revolution within their project.
- A supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.
- A proposition made as a basis for reasoning, without any assumption of its truth.