A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

The 5 Con Questions

You are the PROS, modeling the approach of an historian as you reexamine the document before you. What are the questions that you would ask in the process of your investigation? Identify five questions to guide your students in their detective work and analysis. One question must fall into each of these five categories: the CONS.


CONTENT: questions that require students to figure out what the writer is saying

CONTEXT: questions that help students to understand documents’ backgrounds and link them to broad historical themes

CONSIDERATIONS: questions that make students consider why documents were written

CONVERSATIONS: questions that explore the relationship between the creator and the intended audience

CONNECTIONS: questions that link the paired documents with each other