Q. What are primary and secondary sources?

Answer

A primary source is a document or physical object which was written or created during the time under study. These sources were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event. Some types of primary sources include:

  • ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS (excerpts or translations acceptable): Diaries, speeches, manuscripts, letters, interviews, news film footage, autobiographies, official records 
  • CREATIVE WORKS: Poetry, drama, novels, music, art 
  • RELICS OR ARTIFACTS: Pottery, furniture, clothing, buildings

Examples of primary sources include:

  • Diary of Anne Frank - Experiences of a Jewish family during WWII 
  • The U.S. Constitution - American History 
  • A journal article reporting NEW research or findings 
  • Weavings and pottery - Native American history 
  • Plato's Republic - Philosophy, History and Culture of Ancient Greece 

A secondary source interprets and analyzes primary sources. These sources are one or more steps removed from the event. Some types of secondary sources include: 

  • PUBLICATIONS: Textbooks, magazine articles, histories, criticisms, commentaries, encyclopedias 

Examples of secondary sources include:

  • A journal/magazine article which interprets or reviews previous findings 
  • A history textbook 
  • A book about the effects of WWI 
  • Last Updated Apr 22, 2018
  • Views 2
  • Answered By Merlene Nembhard

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