Answered By: Robert Miller
Last Updated: Aug 23, 2016     Views: 58

Primary sources are documents, Web pages, videos, photographs, etc., created by people or organizations directly involved in an issue or event. Primary sources are information before it has been analyzed by scholars, students, and others. When you work with a primary source, you will be the one analyzing it and expressing how and why it is important for your research topic. Here are some examples of primary sources:

  • If your topic is the changing roles of women in the US during World War II, a primary source could be a poster of Rosie the Riveter created during World War II; you could analyze the poster to show how it reflects a new image of women's power and workplace status.
  • If your topic is the Viet Nam War, a primary source could be US combat fatality statistics; you could analyze the statistics to see if, as fatalities increased, public opinion about the war changed.
  • If your topic is computer hacking, a primary source could be a piece of computer code; you could analyze the code to show its vulnerabilities.

The possibilities for primary sources are endless! Using primary sources can make almost any research project richer and more interesting.   

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