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Primary & Secondary Source Research

What are secondary sources in the humanities/social sciences?

Secondary sources analyze other sources

  • Interpret, analyze, review, or summarize information 
  • Present facts or descriptions about events not based on direct participation or observation
  • Often rely on other secondary sources and standard disciplinary methods to reach results

Secondary sources may include:

  • biographies
  • commentaries/criticism
  • histories
  • literature reviews
  • peer-reviewed books/articles
  • political analyses
  • reviews
  • scholarly journals
  • some news sources