A primary source is a document or physical object which was written or created during the time under study. These sources were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event. Some types of primary sources include:
Examples of primary sources include:
Unsure about the difference between a primary and secondary source? This short, interactive video can help!
Here is a quick comparison between primary and secondary sources:
|Original works of literature, art, music||Criticism of original work|
|Newspaper accounts of events, by someone on the scene||Newspaper editorial|
|Diary, autobiography, letters, oral testimony||Biography|
|Historical documents, such as laws or treaties||Historical commentary|
|Television show or motion picture||Review|
|Raw data from questionnaires||Social science article based on another's data|
|Observation/experiment||Scientific article based on another's experiment
*chart from: “Primary and Secondary Sources.” 2013. Chapman University Leatherby Libraries. Accessed September 19. http://www1.chapman.edu/library/instruction/tutorials/primary.html.