What is a Primary Source?
A primary source is a first-hand account of an event, time period, or philosophical era.
A primary source may include:
Primary Sources do not include:
Why should I use Primary Sources?
• Scholarly Research should be based on fact and observation, which involves the use of primary sources.
• They are used so that you can form your own opinion, based on the facts. They also allow you to understand how people feel, at the time, about an event or a person.
• Primary sources are used to show your professor that you have done the research required to produce a quality paper.
• Using primary sources shows your professor that you are able to take the facts, interpret them, and draw your own conclusion, rather than just regurgitate other people's work.
• You should produce a better quality paper if it has some primary sources to back up your thesis statement.
• A mixture of sources produces a more substantial paper - use primary and secondary; scholarly and popular; paper and electronic; ideas and artifacts; fact and fiction, etc.
See this Comprehensive Guide to Primary Sources at the Library for instructions and tips on using the following resources to access primary sources: