identifying primary and secondary sources pdf

Identifying Primary And Secondary Sources Pdf

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In historical writing, a primary source is a document or physical object which was written or created during the time under study. These sources were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event. A secondary source interprets and analyzes primary sources.

A fully accessible digital collection from the American Foundation for the Blind. A primary source is evidence of history. Whether it is an object, text, or recording, a primary source was created at the time a particular event occurred or was created by someone with firsthand knowledge of an event. A secondary source synthesizes or analyzes primary source material.

Primary source

Published on June 20, by Raimo Streefkerk. Revised on February 26, Primary sources provide raw information and first-hand evidence. Examples include interview transcripts, statistical data, and works of art. A primary source gives you direct access to the subject of your research. Secondary sources provide second-hand information and commentary from other researchers.

Examples include journal articles, reviews, and academic books. A secondary source describes, interprets, or synthesizes primary sources. Primary sources are more credible as evidence, but good research uses both primary and secondary sources. Table of contents What is a primary source? What is a secondary source? Primary and secondary source examples How to tell if a source is primary or secondary Primary vs secondary sources: which is better?

Frequently asked questions about primary and secondary sources. A primary source is anything that gives you direct evidence about the people, events, or phenomena that you are researching. Primary sources will usually be the main objects of your analysis. If you are researching the past, you cannot directly access it yourself, so you need primary sources that were produced at the time by participants or witnesses e.

If you are researching something current, your primary sources can either be qualitative or quantitative data that you collect yourself e. A secondary source is anything that describes, interprets, evaluates, or analyzes information from primary sources. Common examples include:. A secondary source can become a primary source depending on your research question. If the person, context, or technique that produced the source is the main focus of your research, it becomes a primary source.

If you are researching the causes of World War II, a recent documentary about the war is a secondary source. But if you are researching the filmmaking techniques used in historical documentaries, the documentary is a primary source. If your paper is about the novels of Toni Morrison, a magazine review of one of her novels is a secondary source.

But if your aim is to analyze media coverage of economic issues, the newspaper article is a primary source. To determine if something can be used as a primary or secondary source in your research, there are some simple questions you can ask yourself:. Most research uses both primary and secondary sources. They complement each other to help you build a convincing argument. Primary sources are more credible as evidence, but secondary sources show how your work relates to existing research.

Secondary sources are good for gaining a full overview of your topic and understanding how other researchers have approached it. They often synthesize a large number of primary sources that would be difficult and time-consuming to gather by yourself.

They allow you to:. When you conduct a literature review , you can consult secondary sources to gain a thorough overview of your topic. If you want to mention a paper or study that you find cited in a secondary source, seek out the original source and cite it directly. Remember that all primary and secondary sources must be correctly cited to avoid plagiarism. Common examples of primary sources include interview transcripts , photographs, novels, paintings, films, historical documents, and official statistics.

Anything you directly analyze or use as first-hand evidence can be a primary source, including qualitative or quantitative data that you collected yourself. Common examples of secondary sources include academic books, journal articles , reviews, essays , and textbooks.

Anything that summarizes, evaluates or interprets primary sources can be a secondary source. Some types of source are nearly always primary: works of art and literature, raw statistical data, official documents and records, and personal communications e. If you use one of these in your research, it is probably a primary source. Always make sure to properly cite your sources to avoid plagiarism. A fictional movie is usually a primary source.

A documentary can be either primary or secondary depending on the context. If you are directly analyzing some aspect of the movie itself — for example, the cinematography, narrative techniques, or social context — the movie is a primary source. If you use the movie for background information or analysis about your topic — for example, to learn about a historical event or a scientific discovery — the movie is a secondary source.

Articles in newspapers and magazines can be primary or secondary depending on the focus of your research. In historical studies, old articles are used as primary sources that give direct evidence about the time period. In social and communication studies, articles are used as primary sources to analyze language and social relations for example, by conducting content analysis or discourse analysis.

If you are not analyzing the article itself, but only using it for background information or facts about your topic, then the article is a secondary source. Thanks for reading! Hope you found this article helpful. Have a language expert improve your writing.

Check your paper for plagiarism in 10 minutes. Do the check. Generate your APA citations for free! APA Citation Generator. Home Knowledge Base Citing sources Primary and secondary sources. Primary and secondary sources Published on June 20, by Raimo Streefkerk.

When you do research, you have to gather information and evidence from a variety of sources. Here's why students love Scribbr's proofreading services Trustpilot.

Documentaries If you are researching the causes of World War II, a recent documentary about the war is a secondary source. Reviews and essays If your paper is about the novels of Toni Morrison, a magazine review of one of her novels is a secondary source.

What are some examples of primary sources? What are some examples of secondary sources? How can you tell if a source is primary or secondary? Does the source provide original information primary , or does it summarize information from other sources secondary? Are you directly analyzing the source itself primary , or only using it for background information secondary? Is a movie a primary or secondary source?

Is a newspaper article a primary or secondary source? Is this article helpful? Raimo Streefkerk Raimo is an expert in explaining plagiarism and citing sources. He has been writing helpful articles since and is continuously improving Scribbr's Citation Generators. Other students also liked. How to avoid plagiarism When you use words, ideas, or information from a source, you need to properly credit the author.

Follow these steps to avoid plagiarism. Each citation style has different rules for in-text citation. How to quote in academic writing When you quote a source, you have to intoduce the quote, enclose the quote in quotation marks, and correctly cite the original author s.

Still have questions? Please click the checkbox on the left to verify that you are a not a bot. What is your plagiarism score? Scribbr Plagiarism Checker. Letters and diaries Photographs and video footage Official documents and records Physical objects. Novels and poems Paintings and art installations Films and performances. Interview transcripts Recordings of speeches Newspapers and magazines Social media posts.

Literature Review Basics

Subscribe to the Universal mailing list to receive updates on new arrivals, offers and other discount information. Work that is based entirely on secondary sources. This is an important concept because the same data set could be primary data in one analysis and secondary data in another. In Primary and Secondary Sources, students will learn how to identify and differentiate between primary and secondary sources. Why show ads? Types: Research, Activities, Google Apps.


Week Six: Identifying Primary and Secondary Sources. Heather Herrman, Minnesota Literacy Council, p GED Social Studies Curriculum. SOCIAL.


Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources

The Literature refers to the collection of scholarly writings on a topic. This includes peer-reviewed articles, books, dissertations and conference papers. The term primary source is used broadly to embody all sources that are original. P rimary sources provide first-hand information that is closest to the object of study. Primary sources vary by discipline.

Primary and secondary sources

Research Process

Published on June 20, by Raimo Streefkerk. Revised on February 26, Primary sources provide raw information and first-hand evidence. Examples include interview transcripts, statistical data, and works of art.

Sources of information or evidence are often categorized as primary, secondary, or tertiary material. These classifications are based on the originality of the material and the proximity of the source or origin. This informs the reader as to whether the author is reporting information that is first hand or is conveying the experiences and opinions of others which is considered second hand. Determining if a source is primary, secondary or tertiary can be tricky. Below you will find a description of the three categories of information and examples to help you make a determination. These sources are records of events or evidence as they are first described or actually happened without any interpretation or commentary. It is information that is shown for the first time or original materials on which other research is based.

In the study of history as an academic discipline, a primary source also called an original source is an artifact , document, diary, manuscript , autobiography , recording, or any other source of information that was created at the time under study. It serves as an original source of information about the topic. Similar definitions can be used in library science , and other areas of scholarship, although different fields have somewhat different definitions. In journalism , a primary source can be a person with direct knowledge of a situation, or a document written by such a person. Primary sources are distinguished from secondary sources , which cite, comment on, or build upon primary sources. Generally, accounts written after the fact with the benefit and possible distortions of hindsight are secondary.


Discover the identifying characteristics and advantages of primary and secondary (and tertiary) sources with this guide. Primary Sources. Primary sources are.


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This guide will introduce students to three types of resources or sources of information: primary, secondary, and tertiary. The Library of Congress refers to them as the "raw materials of history — original documents and objects which were created at the time under study. They are different from secondary sources, accounts or interpretations of events created by someone without firsthand experience. A primary source is most often created during the time the events you are studying occurred, such as newspaper articles from the period, correspondence, diplomatic records, original research reports and notes, diaries etc. They may also include items created after the events occurred, but that recount them such as autobiographies and oral histories. Secondary sources are not evidence, but rather commentary on and discussion of evidence.

Examples of primary resources include scholarly research articles, books, and diaries. Primary sources such as research articles often do not explain terminology and theoretical principles in detail.

Primary sources provide a first-hand account of an event or time period and are considered to be authoritative. They represent original thinking, reports on discoveries or events, or they can share new information. Often these sources are created at the time the events occurred but they can also include sources that are created later. They are usually the first formal appearance of original research.

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Birgit T.

Identifying Primary and Secondary Sources. Determine if the source would be a Primary Source (P) or a secondary source (S). •A Primary Source is information.

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