Archives in Context: Teachable Topics from the CSU Japanese American Digitization Project

Reading Primary Sources

The Six Cs of Primary Source Analysis

Provided by The History Project at UC Irvine. A downloadable printout of the questionnaire is available here.
  1. Content (Main Idea) - Describe in detail what you see and read.
  2. Context - What is going on in the world, the country, the region, or the locality when this was created?
  3. Communication (Perspective) - What is the purpose of the source? Who is the intended audience?
  4. Citation (Author/Creator) - Consider who created the source and what you know about this person. When was this created? What type of source is it?
  5. Connections (Prior Knowledge) - Link the primary source to other things that you already know or have learned about. How does the source relate to what you are already studying?
  6. Conclusions - How can we use the source to answer our inquiry question? What other source might you need to answer your inquiry questions? What questions do you have about this source?

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