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ENGL 1102 - Bussey Spring 2021

Types of Sources - Bussey ENGL 1102

Primary Sources

  • Direct evidencefirst-hand testimony, or an eyewitness account of a topic or event
  • Primary sources provide the raw data for your research
  • Examples:  In addition to diariescorrespondencephotographs, and many other types of sources typically considered to be primary sources, you may add just about anything to the list. The way you interpret or use a source determines whether it is a primary source or not.

Definitions from NYU Libraries. Adapted from The Craft of Research by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, c2008

Civil Rights Act of 1964, July 2, 1964; Enrolled Acts and Resolutions of Congress; General Records of the U.S. Government, Record Group 11.

View in National Archives Catalog

Secondary Sources

  • Use primary data to solve research problems
  • Examples:  scholarly books and articles

Definitions from NYU Libraries. Adapted from The Craft of Research by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, c2008.

 

Tertiary Sources

  • Books or articles that synthesize and report on secondary sources for general readers
  • Examples:  textbooksencyclopedia articlesWikipedia

Definitions from NYU Libraries. Adapted from The Craft of Research by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, c2008.

 

 

  Primary Source Secondary Source
Art:      original Warhol painting book about Andy Warhol
History:      Freedom Rider diary book about the segregation in transportation
Literature:     poems by Sylvia Plath book or article about Sylvia Plath
Political Science:     Voting Rights Act of 1965 essays on the legacy of the Voting Rights Act
Science or Social Sciences:     report of an original experiment review of several studies on the same topic
Theater:     videotape of a performance book about a playwright

Adapted from Georgetown University Library.