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HIgh School Social Studies


Research plays a critical role in the arts.  There is a strong connection between reading, writing, thinking and analysis and the creation of a work of art, whether it is a set design or a symphony.  Research is process-driven but the steps are easy to master. When researching topics or events in history it may require the use of primary and secondary sources. 

  1. First, understand your topic.  Do you need clarification from your instructor? Will a quick check of an encyclopedia suffice?

  2. Next, get organized.  Set up a file on your laptop or get an actual file folder for notes, handouts, printouts of articles, etc.  How much information do you need?  Is your subject too broad?  Narrow it by focusing on specifics like a certain time period or facet of the subject instead of the whole field.  Too narrow?  Do the reverse; look at wider sets of information.

  3. What type of information do you need? Historical, current, in-depth or a quick critique?  The answer to these questions determines the sources you consult.

  4. Start your research.  Locate your sources, read, take notes, and always review your assignment to stay on track.  Remember to keep the call numbers of materials you consult or search terms you used in an online search.  If you have questions, just ask.  We're here to help.  

Primary Sources

Primary Sources are original documents or artifacts that provide a firsthand account of events and topics. Examples of primary sources include  


         Personal Diaries 








Audio/ video recordings 




Additional resources 


Secondary Sources 

Secondary sources are documents and artifacts that are created by someone who did not participate/ experience in the event. These documents are an interpretation or analysis of primary sources. 




Journal articles