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Welcome to the Primary Sources Research Guide

Welcome to the Primary Sources research guide

Information sources can be categorized as primary or secondary. As you start thinking about your topic and where to start, consider whether you need primary or secondary sources and which types of sources would be best for your research:

  1. What type of assignment do you have? Is it an oral presentation, a five-minute informative speech, a five-page research paper, a criticism of a novel, a point-of-view paper, etc.?  
  2. What type of information do you need? Do you need to use books and periodicals? Do you need to find peer-reviewed journals? How about the Web? Are there any limitations or restrictions?  
  3. Is currency an issue? Currency may not be an issue if you're researching a historical topic.  
  4. Do you need to use primary sources? In general, you will use secondary sources such as encyclopedias, books and periodicals for your paper. Sometimes, teachers require their students to use primary sources.

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Faten Habib