What is a primary source? What is a secondary source?
Primary Sources Are… an original object or document; first-hand information. written or produced in the time period that you may be investigating. Enable the researcher to get as close as possible to what actually happened during an historical event or time period.
Examples of Primary Sources Newspaper/Journal Articles (written during the period) Diaries Interviews Pictures Letters Official Documents Court Records Autobiographies Plays Oral history
Official Documents: Birth Certificates Government records Deeds Court documents Military records Tax records Census records Artifacts
Primary Sources Keep in mind that a primary source reflects only one point of view and may contain a person’s bias (prejudice) toward an event.
Secondary Sources Are… written "after the fact" Usually the author of a secondary source will have studied the primary sources of an historical period or event and will then interpret the "evidence" found in these sources. Analyzed You can think of secondary sources as second- hand information.
cannot reflect what people who lived at the time thought or felt about the event. include more than one point of view, or may include information that was unavailable at the time of the event.
Examples of Secondary Sources Biographies Newspapers (written about the time period) Journal articles Textbooks Charts and graphs (after)
Think About It If I tell you something, I am the primary source. If you tell someone else what I told you, you are the secondary source.
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