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Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Primary Sources

  • original, creative works
  • first-hand account written during or around the time
  • results of experiments and clinical trials
  • reports of scientific discoveries
  • factual, not interpretive

Secondary Sources

  • analyze and interpret primary sources
  • analyze and interpret research studies, scientific experiments, etc.
  • critique creative works

Examples in the Humanities

Primary Sources

  • poems
  • diaries, autobiographies
  • interviews

Secondary Sources

  • literary criticism
  • book, art, and theater reviews
  • biographies
  • histories

Examples in the Sciences

Primary Sources

  • published results
  • conference proceedings

Secondary Sources

  • report on the significance of experiments
  • analysis of a clinical trial
  • review of results from various experiments
Last update: Tuesday, 01 October, 2013 13:35