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Historical Thinking Skill of Source Reliability

Historical Thinking Skill of Source Reliability

The principal of your school is questioning students about who began a lunch room food fight. She believes your best friend Brad is responsible for throwing the first sandwich. She asks you if her suspicions are correct. You, of course, tell her that Brad would never do such a thing.

Should she believe you?

Of course not! You are not a reliable source. Brad is your best friend and you will likely want to protect him from getting in trouble.

It's important that we study history with the same critical lens that your principal uses to find out who began the food fight. Not all primary sources and eyewitnesses are reliable. Some have biases that will taint the way they see history.

Use the video below to learn how to identify a reliable source from a biased source, then practice the skill using the questions.