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ETHN-367 Dr. Diaz

What are primary sources?

Definition: Primary sources are original materials on which other research is based. They are from the time period involved and have not been filtered through interpretation or evaluation. They are usually the first formal appearance of results in physical, print or electronic format. They present original thinking, report a discovery, or share new information.

Note: The definition of a primary source may vary depending upon the discipline or context.

Examples of primary sources that you might consider using for this assignment:

  • TV or movie clip 
  • Magazine advertisement
  • Content from a website
  • Social media page or posting
  • Image
  • Speech
  • Survey Research (e.g., market survey, public opinion poll)
  • Work of art, architecture, literature, and music (e.g., paintings, sculptures, musical scores, buildings, novels, poems)

 

What are secondary sources?

Definition: Secondary sources are less easily defined than primary sources. Generally, they are accounts or analyses written after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. They are interpretations and evaluations of primary sources. Secondary sources are not evidence, but rather commentary on and discussion of evidence. 

Note: The definition of a secondary source may vary depending upon the discipline or context.

Examples of secondary sources you might use for your paper:

  • Scholarly journal article or magazine article examining the issue you have chosen
  • Book or chapter in a book written about the issue
  • Podcast discussing the issue or a primary source about it
  • Documentary film discussing the issue or a primary source about it