Research Databases for Students: Using Primary Sources
Research with Primary Sources
Primary Sources are things that give first-hand or direct information about the past. For the historian, primary sources are the 'nuts and bolts' of their trade, from which all secondary texts are produced. Primary materials include
OWL Writing Lab Tutorials
Utilizing Primary Sources
Using primary sources
A number of issues have to be considered when using primary sources:
- when was the document produced: was it close to the time and place of the event?
- why was it produced?
- for whom was it produced? (for private 'consumption' or for public/propaganda reasons)
- are there any clues in the document through which the content may be cross-checked?
- is there any obvious bias? - all documents are biased in some way or another
- are the values of the writer, inherent in the document, different from those of the reader? (this is going to be more than likely)
Marjie Bloy, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, National University of Singapore
The Value of Primary Sources
The value of primary sources