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Primary Source Analysis Exercises

Instructions and links to exercises that teach how to analyze primary sources


Now that you have learned the importance of evaluating primary sources, here some additional activities to encourage further use of primary sources.

The first activity asks you to transcribe a Civil War telegram.The instructions include a link to an edited transcription for comparison purposes. 

The second activity asks you to compare government posters produced during the first and second world wars.

The third activity asks you to consider their context and to compare two advertisements.

Click on the image for the item of interest and it will take you to the activity.

War Posters Activity

World War II poster showing woman worker

Advertisements Activity

Advertisement for Sea Lion brand salmon showing a sea lion with a salmon in its mouth

Transcription Activity

Telegram from Abraham Lincoln to Major General Ord