HAPPY Primary Source Analysis Guide Modern World History, Week 3 What is a primary source? ● Primary Sources are immediate, first-hand accounts of a topic, from people who had a direct connection with it. ● Primary sources can include: ○ Texts of laws and other original documents. ○ Newspaper reports, by reporters who witnessed an event or who quote people who did. ○ Speeches, diaries, letters and interviews - what the people involved said or wrote. ○ Original research ○ Datasets, survey data, such as census or economic statistics. ○ Photographs, video, or audio that capture an event. ● For example, everything you are writing and recording right now will be a primary source for future historians who are studying 2021! Why do primary sources matter? ● A historian’s job is to examine primary sources and analyze them to make historical arguments that explain the past. ○ All of your textbooks and everything we think of as historical fact started with historians looking at primary sources ○ Writings created by historians after they analyze primary sources are called secondary sources ○ BUT historians can often have biases, or specific thoughts/beliefs that skew their writing. By reading and analyzing a primary source for yourself, you can get to the root of the information! How do I analyze a primary source? ● To analyze means to take a detailed look at something and find its patterns ○ Historical analysis is a detailed examination of the past in order to identify the meaning of a certain event ● When you sit down to read a historical primary source, a great way to start your analysis is to use the HAPPY method: Information adapted from the University of Massachussetts Boston Library Guide https://umb.libguides.com/PrimarySources/secondary and Mr. E’s Codex website, “Primary Sources: HAPPY Analysis” https://erfurth.co/history-handbook/primary-sources-happy-analysis H: Historical Context ● When and where was this source produced? ● What is happening in the world that caused this document to be created? ● How does this document connect to the events that occurred before and after its creation? A: Audience ● Who is the author speaking or writing to? Who is intended to hear this message? ● How does the audience affect the validity of the document and its message? E.g., how might their message have been modified or shaped to suit their audience? P: Perspective ● What do you know about the author's background? ● How does the author's role in society and hierarchy affect their perspective? ● How does this affect the reliability and validity of the source? P: Purpose ● What is the author's purpose and/or motivation for creating this source? ● Is this intended to persuade or inform? Is this some sort of propaganda? ● How does this affect reliability and validity? Y: Why it matters ● What is the main idea the source is trying to convey? ● Why is this source important to history? (significance!) ● Make an ARGUMENT: what is this source saying and why does it matter?