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Online Learning for Information Literacy: Teaching with Primary Sources

A collection of online tutorials, videos, class exercises, and assessments for developing students' information literacy.

General Exercise for Primary Sources

Analyzing a Primary Source

This exercise can be used to assist students with considering a primary source through several lenses: physical description, author/creator, audience, message/opinion, connection to research, and researcher bias. This can be adjusted for synchronous online classes with students working in small groups with a digital object or as an asynchronous assignment in Moodle.


  • Interpret and evaluate primary sources
  • Identify questions specific primary sources can help or not help to answer
  • Identify questions for further investigation/analysis
  • Describe own potential bias as a researcher when interpreting specific sources

Public Collections of Exercises