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English 115 (Powell River): Magazine Analysis Assignment: Primary & Secondary Sources

  Primary & Secondary Sources

Much academic research uses both primary and secondary sources.


Primary Sources

primary source:

  • is an original work that first presents an idea or reserach results, or
  • is a firsthand account of an event or phenomenon, or
  • was created at the time being studied, and relates directly to the topic being studied

Examples of primary sources include:

  • data from experiments
  • diaries
  • statistics
  • news articles (print, radio, tv, or online) that report contemporary events
  • works of art or architecture
  • archaeological artifacts
  • interviews

Secondary Sources

A secondary source:

  • provides analysis, interpretation, commentary, and/or opinion on primary source material

Examples of secondary sources include:

  • journal articles that discuss the results of research
  • reviews
  • books that analyze or interpret primary sources
  • documentary films