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INST 4950: Capstone: Primary Sources

Primary Sources vs Secondary Sources

Primary Sources:
A document that records an event during the time that event occurs. The author or creator is usually a participant in the event. Examples include newspapers, images, diaries or journals, letters, books, laws, speeches and much more.

Secondary Sources:
A document that analyzes or summarizes information from a primary source. Examples include books, articles, literature reviews, and more.

Selective list of primary source links

Primary Sources in the Social Sciences

Examples of Primary and Secondary Sources

Primary Source Secondary Source

Treaties, Laws,
Court Rulings, CSPAN Recording,
Presidential Address,
Campaign Materials

Essay about a treaty,
Book analyzing ObamaCare,
Documentary about Geneva Conventions,
Scholarly article reviewing American Foreign Policy


Where to Find Primary Sources

Databases Websites
ProQuest Congressional
LexisNexis Academic
CQ Weekly (Congressional Quarterly)
Digital National Security Archive
Academic Search Premier (Library of Congress) (National Archives) (Wyoming Legislation)


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