Evaluating Sources

1. Historical Question: Hollywood movies about the American Revolution made 2001.
Source 1: Hollywood movies about the American Revolution made 2001.
Source 2: Book written by a famous historian who expert on the American Revolution, published in 1999.
Which do you trust more? Why?
I trust the second source more, because a famous American Revolution historian wrote the book.
2. Historical Question: What was slavery like in South Carolina?
Source 1: Interview with former slave in 1930. The interviewer is a young black man.
Source 2: Interview with former slave in 1930. The interviewer is a white woman working for the government.
Which do you trust more? Why?
I trust the first source more over the second source. The interviewer determines the credibility, because I think the black interviewer can identify more with the former slave than a government worker.
3. Historical Question: What was the layout the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz?
Source 1: Interview with 80 year-old Holocaust survivor in 1985.
Source 2: Map of concentration camp found in Nazi files.
Which do you trust more? Why?
I trust the second source over the first source. A map will show you the entire layout of Auschwitz which will help you answer your question. The survivor might not recall the exact design , because the Holocaust happened a couple of years ago.
4. Historical Question: Why were the Japanese Americans pt. in interment campus during WWII?
Source 1: Government film explaining internment from 1942.
Source 2: Government report on Japanese from 1983 based on classified government documents.
Which do you trust more? Why?
I trust the second source over the first one, because the second source is a government report. The second source will be less bias and include detailed evidence to support our claim.
5. Historical Question: Did American soldiers commit atrocities during the Vietnam War in 1969?
Source 1: Sworn testimony by American Sergeant in Congressional hearings in 1969.
Source 2: Speech by American General touring the United States in 1969.
Which do you trust more? Why?
I think the second source is more trustworthy than the first one. A sergeant giving sworn testimony means the information is truthful and not altered. His incentive for telling the truth is avoiding criminal charges for lying under oath to Congress.
6. Historical Question: What happened at the Battle of Little Bighorn?
Source 1: High school history textbook from 1985.
Source 2: Newspaper account from the day after the battle in June 1876.
Which do you trust more? Why?
I trust the newspaper article over the history textbook. A newspaper article written after the battle will give you firsthand information from witnesses and solders at Little Bighorn.

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