Wake Tech Community College


Blackboard Calendar Locations Student Email Moodle my.WakeTech WebAdvisor

HIS 111 (World Civilizations I)

World Civilizations course guide for Rebecca Berry.

Primary Sources

primary source is a document containing firsthand information or original data on a topic. Primary sources are usually created by individuals who experienced the event and recorded or wrote about it.

Examples of primary sources include:

  • Letters
  • Diaries
  • Memoirs
  • Speeches
  • Photographs
  • Oral Histories
  • Pamphlets
  • Newspapers written at the time of the event
  • Manuscripts
  • Maps
  • Court Cases
  • Artifacts
  • Patents
  • Play or Short story

Many museums, archives, historical centers, colleges, and universities with primary source collections have documents available online. Please see the "Websites for your assignment" tab for specific examples. 

Secondary Sources

secondary source is one that was created later by someone that did not experience firsthand or participate in the events in which the author is writing about. Secondary sources often summarize, interpret, analyze, or comment on information found in primary sources.

Examples of secondary sources include:

  • Books
  • Biographies
  • Essays
  • Literary Criticism
  • Encyclopedias (NOT allowed on this assignment)
  • Journal articles that do not present new research

The Wake Tech Libraries and databases are a great place to look for secondary sources like a journal article or a book. For more information on databases and books click on the appropriate tab.