Conquer It

Corroborating Sources

Ok, are you ready? Let’s take the next step. Remember when we talked about corroborating sources at the beginning of this lesson? That’s one of Mr. Lexington’s words. He can remind us what it means.

the word 'corroborating' written on a white board“Corroborating” a source means finding sources that say the same thing and support each other.

If we can corroborate a source, it is more useful to our research projects. Here’s an example. Take a look at this picture of the Boston Tea Party. But wait! I need to tell you a secret. The Boston Tea Party wasn’t really a tea party. It was a rebellion in 1773 when American colonists protested British taxes by throwing boxes of tea into Boston Harbor.

colorful painting of the people throwing tea off of a ship into Boston Harbor

The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor
Image credit: Library of Congress

If we use Mr. Lexington’s five questions, we see at the bottom of the picture that it is from 1846 – more than 70 years after the Boston Tea Party! That means it wasn’t made by people who were in the rebellion, so it is less useful as a source.

Okay, it's your turn. Make a list of other sources about the Boston Tea Party that might corroborate what the picture above shows.