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College Research

Learn the methods and tools for conducting college level research.

What are Primary & Secondary Sources?

In research, primary sources and secondary sources are used to do different things.

Primary sources are first-hand evidence of people, organizations, or events. Examples of primary sources include

  • autobiographies,
  • letters,
  • diaries or journals,
  • photographs,
  • literature,
  • scientific data, and
  • social media posts.

Secondary sources are documents used to analyze, interpret, or study people, organizations, or event. Examples of secondary sources include

  • peer reviewed articles,
  • scholarly books,
  • government reports, and
  • documentary films.

Watch the video below to gain a better understanding of primary and secondary sources, and how to use them in your research.