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EAP1586 | Professor Porges-West: Primary & Seconday Sources

This guide contains resources for students of Professor Ileana Porges-West's EAP1586 courses, Fall 2018

Primary vs. Secondary

What is a Primary Source?

Depending on the general subject area or discipline of your research, primary sources may be a major focus. Primary sources take different forms depending on the discipline. In literature, a primary source is the novel, short story, poem, etc. Primary sources in history include laws, letters, oral histories, diaries, and newspaper articles on events. In science, primary sources include reports of original research. Primary sources tend to stand on their own and be firsthand observations of an event.


What is a Secondary Source?

A secondary source is one which analyzes, critiques, reviews or explains a primary source. They are often authored by people who were not present when the event occurred or the person under study was alive. Many are written by scholars who have carefully studied the primary source and have drawn their own conclusions from it.


Which of these is a Primary Source?
Anne Frank’s diary: 14 votes (56%)
National Geographic article on Annie Griffith: 4 votes (16%)
Original research article: 2 votes (8%)
Biography about Anne Frank: 1 votes (4%)
Annie Griffith’s photographs: 4 votes (16%)
Review of a research article: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 25
Which of these is a Secondary Source?
Anne Frank’s diary: 3 votes (10.71%)
National Geographic article on Annie Griffith: 2 votes (7.14%)
Original reseach article: 1 votes (3.57%)
Biography about Anne Frank: 6 votes (21.43%)
Annie Griffith’s photographs: 5 votes (17.86%)
Review of a research article: 11 votes (39.29%)
Total Votes: 28