NOTE: There is no ONE way to analyze historical sources. The process below is offering a basic skeleton for constructing meaning of complex documents and historical issues.
- Complete a "Critical Reading" of the source.
- The first step in analyzing sources, specifically primary, is to complete the basic information contained in the 6 C's of Primary Sources.
- Ask yourself: "what is the text doing?" Is it:
- A Rhetorical Artifact
- Pathos- is appeal based on emotion. Advertisements tend to be pathos-driven.
- Ethos- is appeal based on the character of the speaker. An ethos-driven document relies on the reputation of the author.
- Logos- is appeal based on logic or reason. Documents distributed by companies or corporations are logos-driven. Scholarly documents are also often logos-driven.
- A social instrument or
- a people or social exchange