What is primary sources in academic writing

when would you use primary sources when writing an essay

Thus, readers of primary scholarly research should have foundational knowledge of the subject area. Secondary sources are good for gaining a full overview of your topic and understanding how other researchers have approached it. They can cover the same topic, but add a layer of interpretation and analysis.

primary source paper example

Once you have a set of search results, remember to look for articles where the author has conducted original research. On the other hand, if the topic is science education and the history of textbooks, textbooks could be used a primary sources to look at how they have changed over time.

What is primary sources in academic writing

Students are advised to discuss the use of sources with their supervisors and with the library staff at their departmental library. In online publications, follow links to find the primary source of information. In general, you have two options when you are in agreement with a source. Here are some typical problems we encounter when using primary and secondary sources: - Leaving quotations and paraphrases to speak for themselves - Not differentiating your own voice from the voices of your sources ventriloquizing - Resorting to overly agreeing and disagreeing as your only means of responding to a source other than summary Primary and secondary sources are nothing to fear. In the extract below, the reference is "Boehm ", and the source is a certain journal article, written by Boehm and published in , the full details of which are given in the list of references. Documentaries though they often include photos or video portions that can be considered primary sources. Primary sources include historical and legal documents, eyewitness accounts, results of experiments, statistical data, pieces of creative writing, audio and video recordings, speeches, and art objects. Secondary Sources Secondary sources describe, summarize, or discuss information or details originally presented in another source; meaning the author, in most cases, did not participate in the event. Depending on the essay being written, both primary sources and secondary sources may be acceptable types of sources. Some examples of secondary sources: - a journal article on motherhood in the novel Frankenstein, which you then use to discuss Shelley's beliefs on motherhood, and how they may have worked their way into her novel - a book on speech patterns, which you use to help show how Obama communicates with both the interviewer and the audience - a book on fan fiction, which you use to discuss fan fiction as a collaborative process Summary: When and How Do I Use It?

In other words, primary sources are original sources, not interpretations made by someone else. Their bibliographies, however, can be used to identify primary sources.

Secondary sources of data

Strategy 2: Use Your Sources to Ask Questions, Not Just to Provide Answers v Use your selections from your sources as a means to raise issues and questions; avoid the temptation to use selections that provide answers without any commentary or further elaboration. In general, you have two options when you are in agreement with a source. All of these sources can be classified as either primary or secondary sources. Refrain from including such resources in an annotated bibliography for doctoral level work unless there is a good reason. Note, though, that all writers need to be aware of the importance of originality, in the sense of first-hand results, in scholarly writing. Using Strategy 5: Are your sources presented throughout the paper with careful analysis attending to each one? For instance, if a scientific study is performed, the primary source is the initial report that is prepared by the scientist s who performed the research. Boehm argues that these large costs stem from introducing testing too late in the process, and that these costs could be lessened if a defect could be detected and fixed at the same stage as it is introduced. In online publications, follow links to find the primary source of information.

The author managed to encapsulate the longer passage into two sentences. Documentaries, feature films, and TV news broadcasts can provide insights into the fantasies, biases, political attitudes, and material culture of the times in which they were created. In other words, there is no mediary between you and the text; you are the one doing the analysis.

When discussing the actual function of the reference in the written text, however, it may be useful to distinguish between the terms 'source' and 'reference'.

Sources of research

Was the person who created the source directly involved in the event or time period? In the first option, to do this, instead of focusing on the most important point, choose a lesser yet equally interesting point and work on developing that idea to see if it holds relevance to your topic. Depending on your field and the style guide your field follows, you may be required to paraphrase more than quote or summarize. In the natural and social sciences, primary sources are often empirical studies—research where an experiment was performed or a direct observation was made. However, instead of molding itself to the English of the Western world, Japan has integrated English to fit its ideologies, to serve its own needs; indeed, to become part of the Japanese language. In other words, this is the source where any given information first appeared. Also: are there places where you see too much analysis, and not enough evidence? Whether something is a primary or secondary source often depends upon the topic and its use. Films, videos, TV programs, and digital recordings can be primary sources. Make a list of possible dialogues your sources could have with one another.

These will often lead you to the primary source itself; after all, these writers have to document their sources just as you have to.

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Primary and Secondary Resources