Primary and Secondary Sources

You Decideā€¦

Imagine that you are an insurance agent who must decide whether to pay a claim for an automobile accident.  You have several sources of information including: 

  • phone interviews with eyewitnesses,

  • the police report,

  • a photograph of the scene of the accident,

  • a newspaper article about this accident, and

  • a government report about similar accidents.

Why should you use more than just eyewitness statements to make your decision?

Why should you be sure to use the eyewitness statements when making your decision?

Would you trust the newspaper article or the police report more?

Which of these things are primary sources and which are secondary sources?




Primary and Secondary Sources Exhibits and Resources Albert Gore Research Center