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Primary and Secondary Sources 1st Draft

Primary and Secondary Sources

Primary and Secondary Sources


There are two kinds of information that you can use in your assignments, Primary and Secondary.  In your research for your classes you will be using both kinds of information. One is not right or better than the other. They just have different purposes. So it will be helpful to understand their differences. 

Generally, Primary sources are the first and closest recorded representation of the evidence from studies, original observations of events, original documents and communications of organizations including governments, and creative works of art, literature, film or music. 

Secondary sources are created by someone who did not experience first hand or participate in the events or conditions you are researching. However, secondary sources analyze and interpret primary sources, to find valuable insights, trends, and contexts.  Secondary sources can be found in books, articles, web sites, videos, and social media.

There is no universal definition of primary and secondary sources, rather each discipline uses them differently.

Primary and Secondary Sources by Discipline Chart