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Multicultural America: For Faculty


Subject Guide

Archives Department's picture
Archives Department
UWM Libraries
Room W250

Assessment Suggestions

Competency 1: Identification

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Define primary sources.
  2. Define secondary sources
  3. Make distinctions between the two types of sources in ambigious cases.

Discussion: Provide examples of a primary source and a secondary source.  What distinguishes the two sources from each other?

Competency 2: Access

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Differentiate between different types of repositories.
  2. Understand differences between library and archives practices. 
  3. Understand how archives and manuscript collections are organized.
  4. Effectively use search tools to find primary sources.

Discussion: What types of repositories hold primary sources? How do they differ from libraries? How might you access primary sources at these repositories?

Competency 3: Evaluation and Interpretation

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Understand and recognize the creator.
  2. Ask thoughtful questions about creator's bias, perspective, and authority.
  3. Ask thoughtful questions about date, distribution, purpose, and physicality of item.
  4. Exhibit awareness of one's own bias.

Discussion: Is it possible to examine a record objectively? Why or why not?

Competency 4: Application

Learning Outcome:

  1. Effectively organizes and integrates information from research.
  2. Revises work based past successes, failures, and alternative strategies.
  3. Communicates the product or performance effectively to others.

Discussion: How might you revise a working thesis based on new evidence from your sources?

Competency 5: Key Issues

Learning Outcome:

  1. Understands intellectual property, copyright protection, and the fair use exception.
  2. Understands the importance of proper citation and consults with instructor on preferred documentation style.
  3. Understands the key elements of citing primary sources.
  4. Understands restrictions based on donor, institutional policy, state or federal law.
  5. Understands economic costs of researching at primary source repositories.

Discussion: What are the key elements of primary source citation?  What might be some economic barriers to researching at primary source repositoories?

About this Tutorial

Thank you for your interest in the Multicultural America tutorial. The tutorial focuses on understanding primary source research, including examples that illustrate how to access information sources at the UWM Archives and through the Wisconsin Historical Society Area Research Center network. The tutorial is composed of five modules; each one dedicated to a specific element of archival literacy.  The tutorial can be completed as a general introduction to primary source research at the UWM Archives, or broken down into individual modules that address your course needs.

To add a link to the content section of your D2L course, please use the following URL:

Instructions for Reuse

This contents of the Multicultural America Guide may be reused with attribution. Please copy the following into new works based on the Multicultural America Guide. 

Creative Commons License
Multicultural America Guide by Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at