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NHHS English Language Arts: Evaluating Sources

What is a Primary Source?

  • Created at the time of the event
  • First-hand information and original data
  • Examples include:
    • Interviews, diaries, letters, journals, speeches
    • Autobiographies
    • Articles with original research, data, or new findings
    • Government documents and public records
    • Art, maps, photographs, films, and music

What is a Secondary Source?

  • A summary or collection of existing data
  • One step removed from the original event
  • Should have a full citation of original sources (bibliography)
  • Examples include:
    • Textbooks
    • Review articles
    • Biographies
    • Historical films, music, and art
    • Articles about people and events from the past


Are your sources credible and useful, or are they a bunch of . . .?! 

The CRAAP Test is a list of questions that help you determine if the sources you found are accurate and reliable.  Keep in mind that the following list is not static or complete. Different criteria will be more or less important depending on your situation or need.