Analyzing Historical Sources

Using New Media

Learning Challenge:

Students often struggle to engage deeply with an historical text, particularly when it comes to reading, evaluating, and comparing differing perspectives, narratives, and opinions. Using new media tools such as NowComment or VideoAnt, students can collectively annotate a particular text and even compare two texts that offer different points of view. This tool allows students to dig deeply and consider the importance of authorship, perspective, and bias when considering an historical text that provides an account of a particular era or event. NowComment, for example, makes reading a collaborative, participatory task rather than a solitary, passive one. When reading historical sources, students should be able to:


  • Identify authorship and perspective
  • Evaluate sources for bias and subjectivity
  • Compare/contrast two or more texts in terms of authorship, perspective, bias, and authenticity
  • Critically analyze the claims made in an historical source through corroborating evidence and further research

New Media Tools

Example of NowComment in Action!

See an example of NowComment being used to analyze and annotate two historical sources.