Source Selection

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Looks at primary, secondary and tertiary resources used in writing a research paper.

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  • Diaries
    Speeches
    Photographs
    Letters
    Manuscripts
    Oral Histories
    Political Cartoons
    Sheet Music
    Sound Recordings
    Motion Pictures
    Maps
  • Biographies
    Books
    Commentaries
    Dissertations
    Bibliographies
    Indexes
    Abstracts
    Journal Articles
  • Almanacs
    Digests
    Dictionaries
    Encyclopedias
    Fact books
    Pathfinders
    Overviews
    Guide Books
    Overviews
  • Source Selection

    1. 1. Source Selection
    2. 2. What type of information do you need for this topic? Once you have selected a topic for your research paper, you can determine the type of information that’s needed. 1. Primary 2. Secondary 3. Tertiary
    3. 3. Primary Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is primary information. It was written by Lincoln himself. The text of the speech is firsthand information. It contains the President’s thoughts about the situation.
    4. 4. Primary Source Examples They can come in many forms. • Diaries • Speeches • Photographs • Letters • Manuscripts • Oral Histories • Political Cartoons • Sheet Music • Sound Recordings • Motion Pictures • Maps • Some autobiographies • Other A primary resource provides direct, first- hand, evidence of the topic under investigation
    5. 5. Secondary A book written commenting on the historical importance of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is an example of a secondary source. It contains another person’s reflections after the fact of the speech. This is secondhand information.
    6. 6. Secondary Source Examples They can come in many forms. • Books about an event • Commentaries • Dissertations • Biographies • Indexes • Abstracts • Journal Articles A secondary source is something written about a primary source event. It provides analysis, critique or interpretation of the topic under investigation.
    7. 7. A tertiary resource is thirdhand information. An article on the Gettysburg Address in an encyclopedia is a tertiary resource. It contains information about the speech in a brief form. It is according to Webster, “received from or through two intermediaries.” Tertiary
    8. 8. Tertiary Source Examples They can come in many forms. • Almanacs • Digests • Dictionaries • Encyclopedias • Fact books • Pathfinders • Overviews • Guide Books • Overviews A tertiary source provides the bare facts without analysis, critique or interpretation of the topic under investigation.
    9. 9. It’s Complicated. An article written in 2010 about the causes of the Great Depression is a secondary source. However, an article written in 1925 about the causes of the Great Depression can be considered a primary source. Since the author is reflecting on current circumstances. In doubt ask questions. Your professor or the librarians can help you.
    10. 10. Confused? For now, think of it this way. For background information you use tertiary sources. • Dictionaries • Encyclopedias • Guides • Fact books The sources provide thirdhand information discussing the bare facts.
    11. 11. This is what you’ll need. The primary and secondary sources are the sources you’ll use in constructing your research. They provide firsthand access to the original events and the secondhand reflection upon the events.
    12. 12. Next we’ll look closely at where to I start discovering background words and ideas for your research project. Do the student activity for this lesson. After that proceed to the next lesson. Revised Wednesday, February 4, 15.

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