A primary source is an eyewitness account of an event or data obtained through original statistical or scientific research .
What are some examples of primary sources?
• Official records (government reports, transcripts, court records, death certificates, etc.)
• Contemporary news reports (newspapers, telecasts, radio addresses, etc.)
• Eye-witness accounts
• Music (scores, sheet music, recordings, etc.)
• Images (photographs, paintings, films etc.)
• Polls & Public Opinion Data
• Laws, statutes, hearings
A secondary source interprets and analyzes primary sources. These sources are one or more steps removed from the event. Secondary sources may include pictures of or quotes from primary sources in them. Some types of secondary sources include: journal/magazine articles, textbooks, commentaries, and encyclopedias.
In the strictest sense, translations are secondary sources unless the translation is provided by the author or issuing agency. Consult your professor if you have questions about a source.
Secondary sources are interpretations and analyses based on primary sources.
For example, an autobiography is a primary source while a biography is a secondary source.
Typical secondary sources include:
Please note that a book is simply a format. You can find primary and secondary sources published in book form.
Often secondary and primary sources are relative concepts. Typical secondary sources may be primary sources depending on the research topic.