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 UNIT 1 REVIEW: Renaissance and Exploration c. 1450 to c. 1648
Historians use many types of sources to help explain the past. They range from very personal diaries to works of later scholars analyzing events. One way to think about this range of sources is to distinguish between primary and secondary sources.
A primary source is a first-hand account of an event or of what a person thought. For example, a legal charter for the British East India Company. A secondary source is a later description of an event or of what a person thought. This might be the book of a 21st century historian.
Determining which type of source is used can help a reader understand a prompt by more clearly identifying the author’s main point and point of view. Also, when answering an essay question, try to think as a historian does by understanding complex relationships and analyzing information to support a position. Read the prompt slowly. Circle direction words, such as explain, evaluate, validate or refute, and compare. Each of these words has its own meaning:
• Explain means to use evidence and reasoning to provide information about how or why a particular event, outcome, pattern, relationship, or situation comes into being.
• Evaluate means to identify positive and negative aspects or determine something’s significance.
• Validate means to show support for an idea. Refute means to argue against it.
• Compare means to explore similarities and/or differences between ideas or things.
Examine continuity and change over time means to understand how and why some things have changed in a given period of time while others have remained the same.
Direction: Complete the series of questions below.

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