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SCLA 102: Transformative Texts, Critical Thinking and Communication II: Modern World

This is a research guide to help you conduct research for SCLA 102 with Dr. Catalano

Ask a Librarian

If you need any help as you are researching your topic, please visit the Ask a Librarian website. From here you can chat, email, text, or Tweet with a librarian. 

Typical chat and text hours:

Monday-Thursday, 9 AM - 11 PM,

Friday, 9 AM - 5 PM,

Saturday, 1 PM - 5 PM

Sunday, 3 PM - 11 PM

What Are Primary Sources?

Primary sources are materials that provide us with a first-hand account of a time or event. They offer us the most direct evidence of a topic that we are studying, as they have not been influenced by later interpretations. Common primary sources include newspaper articles from the time being studies, diaries, speeches, photographs, data, and more. 

Secondary sources, on the other hand use primary sources to make historical interpretations or analyses. Common secondary sources include scholarly books or articles, biographies, textbooks, and more. 

Both primary and secondary sources have an important role to play in research. You will likely look to scholarly sources to help you gain a broad understanding of your topic over time. Primary sources can help you gather concrete evidence and ground your analysis in a number of important sources that provide more direct evidence of a time, event, person, etc.

For more information on determining the difference between primary and secondary sources, as well as their roles within research, watch Distinguishing Primary and Secondary Sources [video 8:47]