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AP European History

AP Euro History Where to Find Primary Sources

EBSCO Discovery Service

Search for books that contain letters, diary excerpts, maps, images, and interviews in Calarco Discovery Service. Start with the suggested searches below:

  • Sources + [search term]
  • Letters + [search term]
  • Diaries + [search term]
  • Interview + [search term]
Google Web Search

Document Type + Search Term

  • documents + [search term]
  • texts + [search term]
  • sources + [search term]
  • "primary sources" + [search term]
  • "personal narratives" + [search term]
  • diaries + [search term]
  • interviews + [search term]
  • oral history + [search term]
  • testimony + [search term]

Site Type + Document Type + Search Term

  • site: (edu, gov, org) + primary sources + [search term]
  • site: (edu, gov, org) + letters + [search term]
  • site: (edu, gov, org) + diaries + [search term]
  • site: (edu, gov, org) + interview + [search term]

Boolean Search for sample topic: Segregation in the United States

  • use OR to find synonyms in the same search
    • Example: (segregated OR segregating OR segregation OR "jim crow" OR "separate but equal")
  • combine with some synonyms terms relating to primary documents\
    • Example: (documents OR sources OR diaries) and (segregated OR segregating OR segregation OR "jim crow" OR "separate but equal")

AP Euro How to Analyze, Cite and Incorporate Primary Sources

How to Analyze

Here are some things to keep in mind when you are working with primary sources:

  • Every source must be read or viewed skeptically and critically
  • No source should be taken at face value; the creator's point of view must be considered
  • Consider how the source compares with related sources and pieces of evidence. How can it support your thesis?

You'll find useful questions to help you analyze specific kinds of primary sources on these resources from The National Archive and Library of Congress:  

How to Cite 

Cite the source WHERE YOU FOUND it. Depending on the source, you may be able to add additional information about it on the template. Here are some examples:

  • Political cartoon found in a book: cite the book using its ISBN
  • Letter found in an ebook: cite the ebook using its ISBN number
  • Newspaper article or map found in a database: export the citation from the database
  • Treaty or photograph found on a website: cite the website, then add information about the treaty or photograph on the template

How to Incorporate

Consider these factors when you are incorporating a source into your paper:  

  • Who created the source and why? Was it a spur-of-the-moment act, or a deliberate process?
  • Did the recorder have firsthand knowledge of the event, or did he/she report what others saw?
  • Was the recorder a neutral party, or did he/she have opinions that might have influenced the record?
  • Did the recorder produce the source for personal use, for a small group, or a large audience?
  • Was the source meant to be public or private?
  • Did the recorder wish to inform or to persuade others? Did the recorder have reasons to be honest or dishonest?
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