What are the differences between Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources?
|Types of Sources||Definition||Characteristics||Examples|
|Primary||Original documents created or experienced concurrently with the event being researched.||First hand observations, contemporary accounts of the event. Viewpoint of the time.||Interviews, news footage, data sets, original research, speeches, diaries, letters, creative works, photographs|
|Secondary||Works that analyze, assess, or interpret a historical event, an era, or a phenomenon. Generally uses primary sources.||Interpretation of information, usually written well after an event. Offers reviews or critiques.||Research studies, literary criticism, book reviews, biographies, textbooks|
|Tertiary||Sources that identify, locate, and synthesize primary AND secondary sources.||Reference works, collections of lists of primary and secondary sources, finding tools for sources.||Encyclopedias, bibliographies, dictionaries, manuals, textbooks, fact books|
Chart created by Loyola Marymount University Library
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