Module 1: Identifying Information
Primary sources are original, uninterpreted information.
Unedited, firsthand access to words, images, or objects created by
persons directly involved in an activity or event or speaking directly
for a group. This is information before it has been analyzed,
interpreted, commented upon, spun, or repackaged. Depending upon the
context, these may include research reports, sales receipts, speeches,
e-mails, original artwork, manuscripts, photos, diaries, personal
letters, spoken stories/tales/interviews, diplomatic records,
Think of physical evidence or eyewitness testimony in a court trial.
Secondary sources interpret, analyze, or summarize.
Commentary upon, or analysis of, events, ideas, or primary sources.
Because they are often written significantly after events by parties not
directly involved but who have special expertise, they may provide
historical context or critical perspectives. Examples are scholarly
books, journals, magazines, criticism, interpretations, and so forth.
Think of a lawyer's final summation or jury discussion in a court
Tertiary sources compile, index, or organize
Sources which analyzed, compiled and
digest secondary sources included mostly in abstracts, bibliographies,
handbooks, encyclopedias, indexes, chronologies, etc.
Think of an index that lists all the cases heard by this court
during the year.