Research involves examining primary sources (original material) to test and validate the point of view or interpretation of the material later published as a reference work or secondary source.
A primary source is direct evidence to the event, person, or subject of research, however on its own it may be difficult to interpret.
Use primary sources to:
When you present your conclusions, you will have produced another secondary source to aid others in their research.
It is important to locate, read and refer to secondary sources in your writing.
|Primary Source||Secondary Source|
First-hand testimony created by someone who experienced the events or conditions being documented
Describes, analyzes or draws conclusions from aprimary source. Created after the event took place. Includes the benefit of hindsight.
|Newspaper or magazine articles||Journal articles|
|Books or pamplets||Books|
|Relics or Artifacts:||Histories, Criticisms|
|Diaries, Letters, Manuscripts, Speeches, Interviews||Commentaries|
|Visual materials, Art|
|Dramas, Poetry, Novels|
|Music, Sound Recordings|
Source: Princeton University