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Difference Between Primary And Secondary Sources Pdf

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Whether conducting research in the social sciences, humanities especially history , arts, or natural sciences, the ability to distinguish between primary and secondary source material is essential.

Q. What's the difference between primary and secondary sources?

Often they are created during the time period which is being studied correspondence, diaries, newspapers, government documents, art but they can also be produced later by eyewitnesses or participants memoirs, oral histories. You may find primary sources in their original format usually in an archive or reproduced in a variety of ways: books, microfilm, digital, etc. Note: The definition of a primary source may vary depending upon the discipline or context. Examples include: Artifacts e. They often attempt to describe or explain primary sources. Some secondary sources not only analyze primary sources, but also use them to argue a contention or persuade the reader to hold a certain opinion.

Both primary and secondary sources are useful and can help you learn about the past. In the strictest definition, primary sources are usually considered to be items like personal letters, diaries, records or other documents created during the period under study. But primary sources can also include photographs, jewelry, works of art, architecture, literature, music, clothing, and other artifacts. In a broader definition, primary sources can also be considered materials that provide first-hand accounts of the events, practices, or conditions you are researching. In general, these are documents that were created by the witnesses or first recorders of these events at about the time they occurred, and include diaries, letters, reports, photographs, creative works, financial records, memos, and newspaper articles to name just a few types.

History: Differences Between Primary and Secondary Sources

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. Secondary sources involve analysis, synthesis, interpretation, or evaluation of primary sources.


When writing a research paper you will likely need to use primary sources or secondary sources It is useful to understand the differences between these two​.


Primary and Secondary Sources

These sources are contemporary to the events and people described. Whether a resource can be considered a primary source depends heavily on your specific research question and on the context the who, what, when, where, and why of the source you are examining. To determine whether something can be considered a primary source, first consider your research question: Who or what are you researching?

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.

Primary sources were either created during the time period being studied or were created at a later date by a participant in the events being studied as in the case of memoirs. They reflect the individual viewpoint of a participant or observer. Primary sources enable the researcher to get as close as possible to what actually happened during an historical event or time period.

Primary sources provide firsthand evidence gathered by the author s.

Information For Students

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.

Imagine if the information world we live in today had no categories, no groupings, or labeling of any informational items. How would we find information? How would we organize information? How would we even understand the information being presented to us?


Primary sources are usually firsthand information about something such as diaries, court records, interviews, research studies about experiments, and information that has been stated but not interpreted by others. Secondary Sources are sources that are written about primary sources.


Introduction to History Research at MSU: Primary vs. Secondary Sources

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3 Comments

Crisol R. 26.03.2021 at 10:08

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Sonsoles A. 26.03.2021 at 15:37

Primary and Secondary Sources.

Emmanuelle Q. 29.03.2021 at 09:57

icel3.org › Knowledge Base › Citing sources.

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