While this may sound odd, the best indicator that something is a primary source is if the author of the piece actually DID the work that led to the creation of the resource. In primary source documents, the person writing the piece actually did the research, or witnessed the event, or created something entirely new. These are some examples of primary sources:. Secondary sources evaluate or analyze what others have done or witnessed or created.

The authors didn't go out and do it, they just analyzed it or wrote about it. These are some examples of secondary sources:. When looking at a resource to determine whether it is primary or secondary, words that describe the action of the author can be helpful.

Primary Source Analysis Paper 1 of 2

In secondary resources, since the focus is on analyzing or discussion of a primary source, you would look for words that describe the action of the author indicating that this is an analysis or discussion, such as:. While the words above can help indicate the type of resource, this is not a cut and dried process where if you see a particular word, that means the resource is always primary.

Locating a findings section in an article doesn't mean the source is either primary or secondary. Check to see whether the authors did the research themselves, or whether they analyzed research done by others. For example, in the article, "School counselors' strategies for social justice change: A grounded theory of what works in the real world," these are some of the key elements from the abstract that indicate that it is a primary, research article:. The primary source authors actually talked to 16 school counselors, using grounded methodology, to come up with their findings based on the research that the authors actually did.

Here, the authors did the research themselves and then reported on it. Singh, A. School counselors' strategies for social justice change: A grounded theory of what works in the real world. Professional School Counseling13 3 This is an example of an article that is a secondary source, with some of the key elements highlighted:.

In the article abstract, "Advocacy for health equity: A synthesis review," these are some of the key elements that indicate it is a secondary source article:. What makes the secondary source secondary is that the authors used other authors' research, analyzing and synthesizing the information to come up with their conclusions, or findings.

Farrer, L.Please join StudyMode to read the full document. I will need to read and review this source to see if it is relatable to my research topic as well as if it is credible enough to use as a source. Rosenheck graduated from Yale Medical School. He has publications with being in the field of medicine covering various diseases including obesity.

All of his professional affiliations or people who co-wrote some of his publications are also professors, or have graduated from a top university in similar fields as himself. The report is under the supervision of Aldo Lale-Demoz who is the director of the UNODC which is an independent organisation, however there is some doubts about the authority, for example it does not provide the readers with background information of the author therefore his expertise are questioned.

There are many references and citations within this text thus making it very credible and reliable with the exception of the lack of the authors background and expertise. The UNODC deals in drugs, crimes and trafficking of illegal goods therefore the organisation is relevant to the topic.

S Customs and Border Protection Office Evaluation : Kevin Barr presents a clear and well stated thesis that introduces the article and is well supported throughout the reading and within the film. Barr includes a variety of well-supported examples from different sections of the movie.

The fractured narrative style thus robs the audience of the privileged position that the conventions of an established ending shot permits. Barr uses correct grammar, appropriate vocabulary, and a varied sentence structure in the article that goes above and beyond a typical analysis or critic.

This source originates from the United States and was first published on by Greenwood Publishing. Greenwood specializes in publishing academic and general interest books, texts, books for librarians and other professionals. We can thus assume that the purpose of the book was for educational purposes, where it was written to inform people.

The fact that it originated from the United States and not Philippines, this source can be targeting an American audience, most likely being students, with the purpose to educate and teach them about events that have occurred in the past. The author, Kathleen M. Nadeau, is an assistant professor and applied anthropology coordinator at California State University; the book is most likely meant to be for educating university students, as the author is a professor in that field.

This source is valuable as the text was published rather recently onit shows that information could be more accurate as more data or documents could have been collected and corrected. It would also be more up to date, where information could cover a wider range as more time has passed for collecting information and after discussions and clarifications, the information presented could possibly be more accurate as compared to previous texts. Though this can also Historians will analyse and examine a sequence of historical sources ranging from artefacts, films, and oral interviews.

Evaluating sources and documents is the main priority this paper will be clarifying, and thus discuss the method and types of approaches historians can employ to scrutinize their materials. Students of history undertake research in order to examine past events.Source evaluation is the process of critically evaluating information in relation to a given purpose in order to determine if it is appropriate for the intended use.

All information, especially online content, needs critical scrutiny. When conducting research, the ability to distinguish between primary, secondary and tertiary sources is a very useful skill:. Search this Guide Search. How to do Research for College Assignments. What is Source Evaluation?

Why Evaluate Sources? Instructors expect students to use scholarly sources: using better sources often results in better grades! Consider your audience and compare with a variety of sources. Check for contact information and the credentials of the author. Think about the source and look for evidence of bias or error. Identify the type of information fact or opinion and the intent of the author.

Tags: academic researchcitationessay writingin-text citationjournal articleslibrary researchpeer reviewreference listresearchresearch methodsresearch skillswritingwriting skills. The timeliness i. The importance of the information for your needs. The originating source author, publisher, sponsor of the information. The reliability source, evidence, truthfulness of the information. The reason teach, sell, entertain the information exists.Primary Sources. Primary sources are produced usually by a participant or observer at the time an event or development took place or even at a later date.

Primary sources include manuscripts such as letters, diaries, journals, memos.

primary source evaluation example

Newspapers, memoirs, and autobiographies also might function as primary sources. Nonwritten primary sources might be taped interviews, films and videotapes, photographs, furniture, cards, tools, weapons, houses and other artifacts. How to Read a Primary Source. To read primary sources effectively requires you to use your historical imagination along with your research skills. You must be willing and able to ask questions, imagine possible answers, find factual background data, and craft an analytical response.

To evaluate primary sources, explore the following parts of the text or artifact by following these steps:. Author and Audience:. How "neutral" is the text; how much does the author have a stake in you reading it, i. What evidence in the text or artifact tells you this?

Source Evaluation Example

People generally do not go to the trouble to record their thoughts unless they have a purpose or design; and the credible author acknowledges and expresses those values or biases so that they may be accounted for in the text. How does the text reveal the targetted audience? How does the creator construct the artifact? What is the strategy for accomplishing a particular goal? Do you think the strategy is effective for the intended audience? Cite specific examples.

Explain what you think this position may be and why you think it. Frame of Reference:. Give specific examples of differences between your frame of reference and that of the author or creator -- either as an individual or as a member of a cultural group. See if you can find portions of the text which we might find objectionable, but which contemporaries might have found acceptable. Evaluating Truth Content:.

Choose a paragraph anywhere in a secondary source you've read, state where this text might be an appropriate footnote give a full citationand explain why. Relation to Other Sources:. What major similarities?These can be historical documentsliterary texts, artistic works, experiments, journal entries, surveys, and interviews.

A primary source, which is very different from a secondary sourceis also called primary data. The Library of Congress defines primary sources as "the raw materials of history—original documents and objects which were created at the time under study," in contrast to secondary sourceswhich are "accounts or interpretations of events created by someone without firsthand experience," "Using Primary Sources".

Secondary sources are often meant to describe or analyze a primary source and do not give firsthand accounts; primary sources tend to provide more accurate depictions of history but are much harder to come by. There are a couple of factors that can qualify an artifact as a primary source. The chief characteristics of a primary source, according to Natalie Sproull, are: " 1 [B]eing present during the experience, event or time and 2 consequently being close in time with the data.

Sproull then goes on to remind readers that primary sources are not always more reliable than secondary sources. Thus data from primary sources are not necessarily accurate data even though they come from firsthand sources," Sproull Primary sources are often called original sources, but this is not the most accurate description because you're not always going to be dealing with original copies of primary artifacts.

For this reason, "primary sources" and "original sources" should be considered separate. It is by no means always necessary, and all too often it is not possible, to deal only with original sources. Printed copies of original sources, provided they have been undertaken with scrupulous care such as the published letters of the Founding Fathersare usually an acceptable substitute for their handwritten originals. Monaghan and D. Pearson et al. Erlbaum, Primary sources tend to be most useful toward the beginning of your research into a topic and at the end of a claim as evidence, as Wayne Booth et al.

In history, for example, primary sources include documents from the period or person you are studying, objects, maps, even clothing; in literature or philosophy, your main primary source is usually the text you are studying, and your data are the words on the page.

There is certainly a time and place for secondary sources and many situations in which these point to relevant primary sources. Secondary sources are an excellent place to start. In addition, a careful reading of the bibliography in a secondary source can reveal important sources the researcher might otherwise have missed," Hoagland and Fitzsimmons As you might expect, primary sources can prove difficult to find.

To find the best ones, take advantage of resources such as libraries and historical societies. Sometimes in your research, you'll run into the problem of not being able to track down primary sources at all.

When this happens, you'll want to know how to collect your own primary data; Dan O'Hair et all tell you how: "If the information you need is unavailable or hasn't yet been gathered, you'll have to gather it yourself. Four basic methods of collecting primary data are field research, content analysis, survey research, and experiments. Other methods of gathering primary data include historical research, analysis of existing statistics, Share Flipboard Email.

Richard Nordquist. English and Rhetoric Professor. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks.

Updated March 30, What Is Demographics?As a student, you will be gathering information from a variety of types of sources for your research projects including books, newspaper articles, magazine articles, specialized databases, and websites. As you examine each source, it is important to evaluate each source to determine the quality of the information provided within it.

primary source evaluation example

Common evaluation criteria include: purpose and intended audience, authority and credibility, accuracy and reliability, currency and timeliness, and objectivity or bias. Each of these criteria will be explained in more detail below. Adapted from Burkhardt, J. Teaching information Literacy: 50 standards-based exercises for college students. Chicago: American Library Association.

What Is a Primary Source?

Skip navigation Accessibility Sitemap. Evaluating Sources. External Analysis Research A guide to identifying secondary sources for conducting an analysis of the external environment as part of the strategic planning process. Home 1. The Intelligence Cycle 2. Visualizing External Factors 3.

The Macro Environment 4. Evaluating Sources Evaluating Information Sources 6. Evaluating Information Sources As a student, you will be gathering information from a variety of types of sources for your research projects including books, newspaper articles, magazine articles, specialized databases, and websites.

Purpose and intended audience What is the purpose of the source?

Evaluating Resources: Primary & Secondary Sources

For example: To provide information e. For example: Scholars and academic researchers with specialized knowledge The general public without specialized knowledge Students in high school, college or university e. Authority and credibility Who is the author? Is it a person? Is it an organization such as a government agency, nonprofit organization, or a corporation?

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primary source evaluation example

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