You are on page 1of 5

Analyzing Primary and Secondary Sources

from AVID: The Write Path


History/Social Science: Interactive Teaching and Learning
Teacher Guide Grades 6-12

Analysis Using Author, Context, Audience, Purpose, Significance (ACAPS)


Author: Who created the source? What do you know about this person or his/her point of
view? How might this affect the sources meaning?
Context: When and where was this source created? How might this affect its meaning?
Audience: For what audience was this source created? How might this affect its meaning?
Purpose: For what reason was this source created? How might this affect its meaning?
Significance: What can be learned or inferred from this source? What is the central idea?
Why is it important?

Using Photographs in Historical Investigations


Identify the Photograph
1. Who took the picture and when?
2. Who was the intended audience?
3. Why was the photograph taken?
Examine the Photograph
1. Divide the photograph into several parts and make a list of the objects pictured. Examine the
background, individuals, groups, or objects.
2. Describe the action or the subject of the photograph.
3. What details in the photograph yield the most information?
Evaluate the Photograph
1. Based on what can be seen in the photograph, what facts are likely to be true?
2. Explain the impact this photograph may have had on viewers in the past.
3. In what ways might this photograph be misleading?

Editorial Cartoon Analysis


1. What is the general subject of the cartoon?
2. Who are the characters and what do they represent?
3. What symbols are used and what do they represent?
4. What is the cartoonists opinion about the topic?
5. What techniques did the cartoonist use?

Symbolism: using objects or symbols to stand for ideas or concepts


Labeling: labels are used to make clear what objects stand for
Caricature: exaggerating or distorting a characters features
Exaggeration: distorting an object in shape or appearance
Analogy: a comparison between two unlike things, one complex, the other more familiar
Irony: the difference between the way things are and the way they should be
Stereotyping: generalizing about an entire group by a single characteristic that may be
insulting and untrue

6. What message is being conveyed?


7. What tone is being conveyed?
8. What is the cartoonists purpose? Why did he/she create this?
9. What occasion prompted this cartoon?
10. What does this cartoon reveal about the historical period?

Analyzing Print Documents


1. Identify the title, date, and type of document.
2. Identify the author of the document. What is his/her point of view?
3. Identify the audience of the document. For whom was it written?
4. For what purpose was the document created? What was the author trying to promote?
5. Describe the context. What events led up to the creation of this document?
6. Explain the central ideas expressed and three significant details.
7. Describe any unique or unusual qualities of the source. What is surprising about this
document?
8. What information is not presented in this document?
9. What impact did this document have at the time it was published?
10. Is this document credible? Is it reliable? Explain.
11. What is the mood of this document? What is the tone?
12. Why is this document significant?

Analyzing Posters
1. When was it created?

2. Why was it created?


3. Who was the intended audience?
4. What colors, symbols, or images are used? To what purpose?
5. What is the main message being conveyed?
6. Whose perspective or point of view is this poster conveying?
7. What inference can be made about this poster?

Analyzing Song Lyrics


1. What type of song is this? (personal, public, government)
2. For what audience was the song created?
3. What was its purpose?
4. What mood does the song convey? Explain how the mood was created. How does the
mood affect the message?
5. What is the message of the song?
6. From whose perspective is this song told?
7. Is there a perspective/point of view that is not being represented?

Interpreting and Analyzing Tables and Charts


1. What is the title?
2. What does the source of information in the table or graph suggest about its reliability?
3. Read the heading at the top of each row. What is being compared?
4. Read the labels in the left column. What is being compared?
5. What can be learned from comparing the different columns?
6. What inferences can be made based on the data from this table or chart?
7. What questions are not addressed by the chart or the table that would allow for greater
understanding of the topic?

Interpreting and Analyzing Line and Bar Graphs


1. What is the title?

2. What relationship or connection is being made?


3. What does the source of information in the graph suggest about its reliability?
4. What does the vertical axis (left side) of the graph show?
5. What does the horizontal axis (bottom) or the graph indicate?
6. If a legend exists, what do the symbols represent?
7. Based on information from the graph, explain what comparisons, trends, or patterns you
predict over time.
8. Summarize what you have learned from this graph.
9. What inferences can be made from the data in this graph?

Reading and Interpreting Maps


1. What is the maps title?
2. What does the maps source of information suggest about its reliability?
3. What can be learned by the legend?
4. Summarize what you have learned from this map.
5. What inferences can be made from this map?
6. What question is not answered by reading this map?

SBAC Item Specifications: Target 11

What inference can be made about the [provide connections or distinctions between
individuals, ideas, or events/author's line of reasoning/purpose/relevance of
evidence/elaboration to support claims, concepts, and ideas]? Use key evidence from

the passage to support and explain your answer.


What inference can be made about the authors opinion about [provide idea/concept in

the text]? Use key evidence from the passage to support and explain your answer.
What conclusion can be drawn about the [provide connections or distinctions between
individuals, ideas, or events/author's line of reasoning/purpose/relevance of
evidence/elaboration to support claims, concepts, and ideas/etc.]? Use key evidence

from the passage to support and explain your answer.


What conclusion can be drawn about the authors opinion about [provide idea/concept in

the text]? Use key evidence from the passage to support and explain your answer.
What did the author most likely intend by mentioning [provide target detail] in the text?

Use key evidence from the passage to support and explain your answer.
Based on the text, [what conclusion can be drawn/what can a reader conclude] about
[the author/the speaker/the narrator/or provide individuals name]s
[viewpoint/perspective/point of view] about [provide individuals name/provide
information about individual/idea/event in the text]? Use key details from the text to

support and explain your answer.


What is the central idea of the text? Use key evidence from the text to support and

explain your answer.


In the [text/section of the text], the author states [provide text excerpt]. Explain how this
statement supports the central idea of the text. Use key evidence from the text to
support and explain your answer.