Trust is earned not given

A few weeks ago in class, we talked about how to evaluate sources to see what is more trustworthy than others. This activity came in handy as i used what we learned that day as I evaluated sources for my annotated bibliographies. The instructor highlighted how the context that the source is in is fundamental to readers determining how much trust they out into that source. In the first question, I chose source two over source one under the circumstances

Handout given in class
Photo taken by Sefay Edwards

that a historian would have better knowledge about the topic than a director of  the Hollywood film. The second question was a bit more difficult to discern which one I trust more but i chose source one because I think a former slave would disclose more information to a young black man due to familiarity along with other social factors over an employee from the government. Question  three was rather easy for me since a map is constant compared to the memories of people which change or fade over time. The map is obviously the best choice.  After a bit of thought for question four, I chose source two over source one due to how the times changed over the years of each respective source. Source one had more bias than source two and when choosing which one to trust, most of the time I want the

Other side of handout
Photo taken by Sefay Edwards

one that is impartial on the topic. I found question five to be the most difficult. They seemed to be equal. Both are from the same time period and are coming from respective individuals within the military. After asking for some help, the instructor cited that the key phrase was “sworn testimony”. Those words imply that the person is telling the truth since they are under oath while the other may contain bias since he just touring and is not bound to tell the truth. Question six was another easy one for me. The newspaper account from the time the battle occurred is easily more trustworthy than a textbook from 1985  since the paper is a primary source while the book is secondary. All researchers know that if you can use a primary source over a secondary source, you use it. The thought process behind solving these was key in me picking and choosing which sources I chose for my annotated bibliography.