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Preview the Course
Grade 6-9

How to Read a Primary Source

by Ariella F. | Humanities

7 Lessons 44:56
  1. 1. Why Is a Primary Source So Special? 7:42
  2. 2. First Reading 6:47
  3. 3. Second Reading 6:41
  4. 4. Third Reading 1:00
  5. 5. Fourth Reading 7:23
  6. 6. John Adam’s Response 5:23
  7. 7. Join or Die 10:00

Grade 6-9



In this course students will become historians, reading primary sources as if they lived in the era the piece was written. By employing the techniques taught in this course students will be able to take what they already know about history and read a primary source to expand on that knowledge. This process encourages students to ask questions, hypothesize answers to these questions, and make conclusions based on supportive evidence. Since everyone approaches these sources with a different set of experiences and abilities, it is common to arrive at different conclusions than your peers. However, if you do not do a close enough reading, it is possible to arrive at a wrong conclusion. To most correctly analyze a primary source, you need to know generalities about the document itself, as well as the era in which it was written.


  • Abigail Adams
  • Document
  • Historian
  • History
  • Letters
  • Primary
  • Remember The Ladies
  • Sources


I’m a sophomore Economics major at Barnard College. I previously attended Montclair High School and have been tutoring for six years. I have done private tutoring as well as Barnard Peer-to-Peer tutoring. I am organized and creative, so I can consistently think of new ways to explain the material. I also am approachable and encouraging, so students will feel comfortable interacting with me. I begin my tutoring sessions gathering the problems the student had the greatest difficulty with and after reviewing these I create practice exams from a mix of their past problem sets, problems I find online, and problems I make up to target specific areas the student is struggling with.

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