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Begin Research: Primary, Secondary & Tertiary Sources

Primary, Secondary & Tertiary Sources

The information you find and use along the cycle of research can also be broken down into three types of sources: primary, secondary and tertiary. Is there enough information on your topic? If not, review the earlier steps for starting your research. It’s normal to refine and revise your topic multiple times.

Primary Sources

Toggle each heading below to reveal more information about primary sources.

Original documents created or experienced contemporaneously with the event being researched

First-hand observations, contemporary accounts of event, viewpoints of the time

Interviews, reports, case studíes, creative works, speeches, news footage, diary entries, experiments

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