|Examples of Primary Sources||Examples of Secondary Sources|
|Original research articles published in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals||
Scholarly articles which critique original research articles
|Interviews||Review articles from scholarly journals|
|Correspondence, including Letters||
Book or movie reviews
|Diaries||Dictionaries (can also be a tertiary source)|
|Court Cases||Directories (can also be a tertiary source)|
|Government Documents||Encyclopedias (can also be a tertiary source)|
|Laws and Legislation||Handbooks (can also be a tertiary source)|
|Speeches||Textbooks (can also be a tertiary source)|
Where to Find Primary Sources
You may find primary sources in library databases, which are most easily accessed through the library research guides.
You may also find primary sources in the library catalog. Use primary source keywords like speeches, interviews, diaries, or letters when searching the catalog.
Note: The library databases may contain references to both primary and secondary literature. You will need to examine each resource carefully to determine which one it is.
Definition of Primary Sources
Primary sources in the social sciences:
- are written documents, sound recordings, artifacts, or any material that was created during the time period being studied
- have not been analyzed, critiqued or interpreted by anyone else
- are original, first-hand, raw material, which come directly from the author or maker.
Secondary sources in the social sciences:
- analyze, evaluate, summarize, compare, critique, or interpret primary sources.
Tertiary sources in the social sciences:
- are collections of primary and/or secondary sources.