What is a secondary source?
Secondary sources build upon primary resources by analyzing, interpreting, synthesizing or discussing them.
Examples would be:
- journal articles (that do not provide original research)
A good way to determine whether or not a source you are evaluating is primary or secondary in nature is to ask yourself:
"Is this 'first-hand' information or 'second-hand' information?"
If you said 'first-hand' then it is likely a primary source. If you said 'second-hand', then it's likely a secondary source.
However, there is not always such a clear delineation. A secondary source may also be a primary source, depending on the context its used in.
|Primary Source||Secondary Source|
|Newspaper Interview of Gilles Duceppe||Newpaper article written post-interview, evaluating Duceppe's comments|
|Census data collected by Statistics Canada||An article using Census data to discuss population trends|
|Diaries or letters from soldiers during World War II||A book about the effects of World War II on soldiers|