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What Are Primary Sources

    To learn more about Wikipedia’s policies on using primary sources, look up Wikipedia: No primary research, original research.

    This mural discovered inside the Roman city of Pompeii illustrates an essential source of information about the Pompeian people. Pompeii from Roman time (portrait of Terentius Neo).
    When studying history as a discipline of study, the primary source (also known as a “source”) is an artifact journal, document, manuscript, autobiography recording, or a different source of information produced during the research period. It functions as an initial source of information on the subject. Similar definitions are used in other fields of study. However, different disciplines have slightly different meanings.

    In journalism, a primary source could be someone with direct knowledge of an event and a piece of writing by someone with direct knowledge of the situation. [1]

    Primary sources differ from secondary sources cited, remarked on primary sources, or expanded upon sources. Generally, reports made after the fact, using the advantage of hindsight, are secondary. The second source could also constitute a primary source based on its use. For example, the memoir could be considered a primary source for research on its writer or the acquaintances portrayed within the text. However, the same memoir is an additional source if utilized to study the cultural context in which the writer lived. “Primary” and “secondary” ought to be viewed about each other, and resources should be classified according to particular contextual contexts as well as what’s being examined. [4]: 118-246 [5]

    Where are the primary sources?

    Primary sources are available worldwide; however, the most popular sources include archives, libraries, museums, and digitized primary sources or databases online.

    Libraries house a wide array of primary resources such as newspapers (often in microfilms or databases), autobiographies, memoirs maps, audio and video material, and a collection of published diary entries, letters, and interviews. A lot of them are available through the library catalog. The library has a variety of materials that are available for borrowing.

    Archive collections are collections of items that are often unique or rare, produced or created by people or groups with historical significance, and that can be preserved and maintained for use by current and future societies. A lot of archives are housed in museums and libraries. Generally, it belongs to a location, organization, subject, or combination of the above. Archive materials archives typically consist of documents, manuscripts, images, maps, photographs, recordings of sound or video, objects, and formats, many of which are the primary sources.

    Museums preserve, collect, and exhibit objects of historic or cultural importance. Museums’ primary resources include artifacts, maps, tablets, audio and video recordings, furniture, and objects.

    The databases of primary sources typically contain scanned or digitized primary sources, which are linked to each other by subject, time, or the institutions that manage the source materials. Various primary source databases can be found on the SHU Libraries website.

    What is a Primary Source?

    The primary source of information is a primary source or a current, first-hand report of the event or subject.

    Primarily, sources provide the most evident evidence of an event or event, as individuals or other things crafted them in the moment or at the time of the event. These documents are unique and are not influenced by the interpretation of others. Primarily, sources are authentic documents, irrespective of their style.

    Primary Sources

    Primary Sources are the immediate primary sources, personal reports of an event written by people with the same connection directly. The primary sources could comprise:

    • Laws and texts, as well as other legal documents that are original.
    • Reports from newspapers, written by reporters who have witnessed events, or quote individuals who were witnesses.
    • Diaries, speeches, letters, and other interviews. Individuals involved wrote or spoke about.
    • Research done by the author.
    • Survey data, datasets like census data, and economic stats.
    • Video, photographs, or audio capture the moment.

    Secondary Sources

    Secondary sources are a step away from the primary sources, even though they typically quote or employ primary sources. They could cover the exact issue but add a level of analysis and interpretation. The secondary sources are:

    • The majority of books on a subject.
    • We are analyzing or interpreting information.
    • Articles from the academic community or on the subject, particularly those written by non-experts.
    • Documentaries (though they usually contain photographs or video clips that may be considered primary sources).

    Tertiary Sources

    They are the sources used to provide an index, abstract, or a way to organize the information and then compile or analyze various other sources. A few textbooks and reference materials are considered secondary sources because they mainly summarize, list, or repackage ideas and other data. Most tertiary sources do not identify as belonging to one particular writer.

    What is a Secondary Source?

    The definition of a primary or secondary source typically depends on the subject and its usage.

    The biology textbook is classified as a secondary resource if it is within the biology field because it describes and interprets science but does not contribute anything original to the field.

    However, when the subject is the science of education and the development of past textbooks, they could serve as a primary source to examine the ways they’ve evolved over the course.

    What are the main differences?

    Information or proof sources are usually classified as primary, secondary, or tertiary. The classifications are dependent on the origin of the source and the closeness of the source or the source. The reader is informed about whether the writer reports information directly from their own experience or is merely relaying thoughts and experiences of other people, which are thought to be second-hand. Determining whether the source is primary, secondary, or even tertiary can take time and effort. Below is an explanation of the three types of information available, as well as examples that can assist you in making a decision.

    The reason why we teach from primary sources?

    Engaging children in intimate contact with these unique and often deeply personal documents can help them understand what must have been such a time to be alive in the past. Making it easier for students to analyze primary sources also sparks the mind to think more critically and increase analytical skills.

    Primary sources give students different perspectives regarding essential topics from the past and current. Through analyzing primary sources, students shift from data and information to asking questions and drawing inferences. Involving with primary sources, learners engage in questions, consider facts, make inferences, create rational explanations, and interpret the topics and events.

    Before you begin

    Effective interactions between students and primary sources require the use of a variety of primary sources, as well as the planning of lessons.

    • Choose one or more of the primary sources that align with the learning goals and can be used by students. Consider your student’s desires and needs as well as issues with the logistical use of this item, including accessibility and copyright quality. Looking at the Library of Congress, Primary Source Sets for teachers are the best place to start, and Free-to-use and Reuse sets for a more general audience are another option.
    • Consider whether your students will be able to recognize the viewpoint, place these items in historical context, and then examine these objects about the other secondary and primary sources.
    • Design your lesson plan, which includes activities, kinds, and duration for each, and the possibility of having students collaborate individually, in small groups, or in a class. Utilize primary source analysis tools from the Library of Congress and select specific questions from the Teacher’s Guide to help students analyze primary sources.

    The best method to make use of the primary source

    If you intend to utilize an academic source as a primary source for your writing, you must adhere to specific guidelines to be respected. Most importantly, you must use proper citations for secondary and primary sources. You don’t just have to mention these sources when writing an essay; you need to give them credit clearly based on the guidelines you’re using for your style.

    The three style guides for academics include MLA, APA, and Chicago. Each style guide has its specific format for citing sources and bibliographies, both within the bibliography and in the text. They differ based on the kind of resource, like images, books, or film. The guidelines for style are determined by the task or organization you’re writing to.

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