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HUM 115 - Riley

What is a primary source?

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

What is a secondary source?

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