Primary and/or Secondary Resources


Primary sources offer first-hand accounts of an historical event or a person's life or work (such as letters, autobiographies, posters, diaries, archival materials, and photographs).


Secondary sources are works written later about a subject by people who were not participants in or eye-witnesses to the historical event. They provide information that interprets, analyzes and debates primary sources.

Disciplinary Perspective


A topic can be analyzed from a specific disciplinary point of view (e.g., looking at poverty from a sociological perspective or looking at poverty from an economic perspective).


Selecting Sources

There is a lot that can be said about doing research it can be fun, it can also be frustrating. What makes it more rewarding is understanding what the assignment expectations are and then locating a relevant body of resources that help you write the best possible paper. Start by looking at the requirements of the assignment.


How long is the paper?

Does the essay require current sources or are earlier sources also appropriate?

Does the disciplinary perspective of the resource matter?

Do you need primary resources and/or secondary resources?

What types of sources are required for the assignment?

Under Resources, open Selecting Assignment Sources to review this series of questions in more detail to determine how to invest time and energy wisely and efficiently in the research process.


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