Introduction to source reliability and provenance: fill the gaps

Last updated: 15/11/2023
Introduction to source reliability and provenance: fill the gaps
Main Subject
Key stage
What is History?: Historical terminology
Includes answers
Resource type
Concepts and methods
Concepts and methods
Using evidence

A gap-fill activity introducing key stage 3 students to the key skills of analysing sources for reliability. It could also be used to revise the concept at key stage 4. 

This worksheet contains a definition of provenance plus gapped texts about various aspects of a source's provenance and style.

In the provenance section, students fill in the missing words about who wrote a text, when they wrote it, where they wrote it, why they wrote it and what type of source it is. In the style section, they complete sentences about bias, fact vs opinion, tone and prior knowledge.

They also have the opportunity to reflect on the issue of reliability and add their own ideas.

Answers are included.


An extract from the answers:

Questions about provenance


Why does this matter?

Who wrote* it?

* Note – not all sources are written, so all these questions could also mean who drew, recorded or said it.

If they are eyewitnesses, they may have a unique perspective.

If they have an emotional connection to who or what they are writing about, this might influence how they write about that person or event.

If they are not connected to the person or event, then they may be more balanced in their writing.

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