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English 102 Composition II / Research: Primary or Secondary ?
This Research Guide will assist students needing to explore topics before writing a research paper.
Help with identifying if a source is PRIMARY or SECONDARY
A Primary Source is an original work of literature or art or a first-hand account of an event that has not been interpreted by anyone other than its creator.
These sources were either created during the time period being studied, or were created at a later date by someone who participated in the events (ex: memoirs).
They reflect the individual viewpoint of a participant or observer.
Some examples or primary sources: diaries, speeches, manuscripts, letters, interviews, eye-witness accounts, autobiographies, clinical research, case studies, and works of art such as poetry, photographs, paintings, music.
Is My Source Primary or Secondary?
A Secondary Source is any information written ABOUT the primary source text.
Secondary sources also provide interpretation, commentary and analysis, and criticism of an historical event, in other words, events that are recounted by people who were not first-hand witnesses but are generally at least one step removed.
Some examples of secondary sources are: analysis or research based journal articles, biographies, political commentary, books that interpret or analyze, newspaper editorials, reference works, literature and other reviews.