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Finding and Evaluating Scholarly Sources: Primary and Secondary Sources

This guide will introduce you to scholarly resources you will need for your research assignments; Scholarly and Popular Publications-journals, magazines, newspapers; and define primary and secondary sources.

Primary Sources

Primary Sources are original records created at the time historical events occurred or well after events in the form of memoirs and oral histories:

Examples include:

  • Letters
  • Diaries
  • Journals
  • Newspapers
  • Speeches
  • Interviews
  • Documents produced by government agencies
  • Photographs
  • Audio Recordings
  • Moving pictures or video recordings
  • Research Data
  • Works of Art,
  • Objects or artifacts
  • Buildings
  • Tools

Secondary Sources

Secondary sources are documents written after an event has occurred, providing secondhand accounts of that event, person, or topic. Unlike primary sources, which provide first-hand accounts, secondary sources offer different perspectives, analysis, and conclusions of those accounts.

Examples include:

  • Journal and magazine articles
  • News reports
  • Encyclopedias
  • Textbooks
  • Books

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