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Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Definition & Examples

 

A secondary source interprets and analyzes primary sources. These sources are one or more steps removed from the event. Secondary sources may have pictures, quotes or graphics of primary sources in them. Some types of secondary sources include:

  • PUBLICATIONS: Textbooks, magazine articles, histories, criticisms, commentaries, encyclopedias 

Examples of secondary sources include:

  • A journal/magazine article which interprets or reviews previous findings
  • A history textbook
  • A book about the effects of WWI

Information courtesy of Princeton University Libraries - http://www.princeton.edu/~refdesk/primary2.html (page no longer exists as of 5/2/17)