What's the difference between primary and secondary sources? Watch this Research Minute Video to find out.
When evaluating the quality of the information you are using, it is useful to identify if you are using a . By doing so, you will be able recognize if the author is reporting on his/her own first hand experiences or relying on the views of others.
A primary source is a first person account by someone who experienced or witnessed an event. This original document has not been previously published or interpreted by anyone else.
A secondary source is one step removed from the primary original source. The author is reexamining, interpreting and forming conclusions based on the information that is conveyed in the primary source.
A tertiary source is further removed from primary source. It leads the researcher to a secondary source, rather than to the primary source.