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Primary Sources vs. Secondary Sources. Primary Sources Contemporary accounts of an event written by the person who witnessed or experienced it first hand.

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Presentation on theme: "Primary Sources vs. Secondary Sources. Primary Sources Contemporary accounts of an event written by the person who witnessed or experienced it first hand."— Presentation transcript:

1 Primary Sources vs. Secondary Sources

2 Primary Sources Contemporary accounts of an event written by the person who witnessed or experienced it first hand. Original documents; not about another document or account. Published works, as long as they are written during or soon after the fact and not as historical accounts.

3 Primary Sources include Diaries Letters Memoirs Journal Speeches Manuscripts Statistical data Interviews Photographs Audio/video recordings Research reports Art Government documents Original literary or theatrical works Autobiographies Artifacts Maps

4 Examples of Primary Sources

5 Secondary Sources Interpret primary sources; at least one step removed from the event or phenomenon under review. Examination of studies that researchers made of a subject. Secondhand accounts; conveys the experiences and opinions of others.

6 Secondary Sources include Usually in the form of published works Journal and magazine articles Books Biographies Radio and TV documents

7 Examples of Secondary Sources

8 How do you know? Ask yourself... How does the author know these details? Was the author present at the event or soon on the scene? Where does the information come from? Personal experience, eyewitness accounts or reports written by others? Are the author’s conclusions based on a single piece of evidence, or have many sources been taken into account?

9 Primary or Secondary Sources? Newspaper, magazine and journal articles can be a primary or secondary sources. If the article was written at the time something happened, then it is a primary source. Example: Articles written on Obama’s inauguration in 2009 are primary sources. However, if a reporter in 2012 wrote about Washington’s inauguration using information written by someone else in 1789, that would be a secondary source.

10 Questions??? Comments.... Contact Tracy Ponder at


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