Digital History Seminar: 20th Century Spain

Interpreting Primary Sources

The historical thinking skills listed below have been adapted from the Stanford History Education Group


The act of looking first to the source of the document before reading the text.


The act of locating a document in a time and place to understand how these factors shape its

Close Reading

The act of analyzing how an author communicates their ideas and/or persuades their audience.

Reading for Silences

The act of identifying what has been left out or is missing from a particular account. This may
include, but is not limited to context, historical information, and the voices and perspectives of
different social groups.


The act of comparing documents with one another for the purpose of checking important details
against each other before accepting them as plausible or likely.

This page has tags: