Primary vs Secondary

An important distinction among information types is whether they are primary or secondary. Different disciplines use primary and secondary sources differently.

For Example:

In the Sciences -- you may need to find the original research study to examine the data (primary source) presented.

In Social Sciences -- to understand a new theory, you may need to trace it back to the original document (primary source) from which it was derived.

In Humanities -- you may need to examine original documents or artifacts (primary sources) to analyze an historical event.

For most of your research questions, it may be essential to look at both primary and secondary sources.

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