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What is a primary source?
The answer will also be a KEYWORD in your searches for primary sources.
Primary sources are original materials i.e. original source or evidence or information created by an individual or organization.
Here is a list of primary sources:
description and travel diaries
diaries and journals
photographs OR pictorial works
When using Google Scholar, type the subject and one of the primary source types listed above in the search box together. Example: "Aung San Suu Kyi" interview
. (Sometimes it is necessary to put the subject in parenthesis. Experiment with that.)
Here are some other resources from the web:
See others posted on your Blackboard page.
A Primary Source in Logue Library
Evaluating Web Resources: Is it appropriate for scholarly research?
A good start is to search Google Scholar instead of just Google.
1. Accuracy of Web Documents
- Who wrote the page and can you contact him or her?
- What is the purpose of the document and why was it produced?
- Can the content be independently verified from other sources? This is especially important if the author is not identified.
2. Authority of Web Documents
- Does the author have expertise on the topic?
Search a library database or Google Scholar to identify other writings by the author and to see if s/he has been cited by others.
- Check the domain (example: .net .edu .gov .org) of the document, what institution publishes this document?
- Is the publisher scholarly or respected in the particular industry?
3. Objectivity of Web Documents
- What goals/objectives does this page meet?
- Does the content express a bias; is the bias recognized or hidden; how does the bias effect the usefulness of the information?
- Red flags: Inflammatory language, poor spelling or grammar.
- Is the advertising (if any) separate from the informational content?
- Is the information presented cited correctly?
4. Currency of Web Documents
- When was it produced?
- When was it updated?
- How up-to-date are the links (if any)?