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Primary Sources room immediate, first-hand account of a topic, from human being who had a direct link with it. Main sources have the right to include:

Texts that laws and other initial documents.

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Newspaper reports, through reporters that witnessed an event or who quote world who did.

Speeches, diaries, letters and interviews - what the people involved said or wrote.

Original research.

Datasets, survey data, such together census or economic statistics.

Photographs, video, or audio that record an event.


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Secondary Sources are one step removed from major sources, despite they often quote or otherwise use main sources. They deserve to cover the exact same topic, but include a class of interpretation and analysis. An additional sources deserve to include:

Most books around a topic.

Analysis or interpretation of data.

Scholarly or other articles around a topic, especially by human being not straight involved.

Documentaries (though lock often encompass photos or video portions that deserve to be thought about primary sources).


Whether other is a primary or second source often depends ~ above the topic and also its use.

A biological textbook would certainly be thought about a second source if in the ar of biology, since it describes and also interprets the science however makes no initial contribution come it.

On the other hand, if the subject is science education and the background of textbooks, textbooks can be supplied a major sources to look at just how they have changed over time.

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Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

ArtworkArticle critiquing the item of art
DiaryBook around a certain subject
InterviewBiography
LettersDissertation
PerformanceReview that play
PoemTreatise top top a details genre of poetry
TreatyEssay on a treaty

Adapted from Bowling environment-friendly State University, Library User Education, primary vs. Second Sources.


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