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Critically Analyzing Information Sources  

Last Updated: Feb 3, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Using Primary Sources

·         Using Primary Sources on the Web : Tips from the Americal Library Association

primary source is a document or other historical evidence written or created during or near the period under study. Because of their close relation to the subject, primary sources usually offer special insight about their topic. The person, organization, or body under study often generates them. There are many examples of primary sources; each varies according to the nature of your topic. Primary
sources generally are:

• Original Documents: Diaries, manuscripts, speeches, letters, minutes, interviews, news or film footage, autobiographies, and official records and documents.  Note: Translations and excerpts are acceptable.

• Creative Works: Poetry, drama, novels, short stories, music, and art

• Relics or Artifacts: Jewelry, pottery, furniture, clothing, and buildings



Scholarly vs. Popular Periodicals

The video below (from Vanderbuilt University) gives a quick explanation of scholarly vs popular periodicals. Here's an interactive tutorial to check out too - Anatomy of a Scholarly Article (from NCSU).


What is a Primary Source?


The Process of Inquiry and Research


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