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Located in the Student Achievement Center on the Youngwood Campus

Primary Sources

Primary sources provide direct or firsthand evidence about an event, object, person, or work of art.

  • historical and legal documents
  • eyewitness accounts
  • statistical data that has not been interpreted
  • pieces of creative writing
  • autobiographies (a person's life written by themselves)
  • diaries and letters
  • audio and video recordings
  • speeches
  • art objects
  • interviews
  • surveys
  • Internet communications via email, blogs, listservs, and newsgroups

Secondary sources make up most undergraduate library collections.  They are books, articles or essays which discuss, analyze, criticize, interpret or review a subject or event.

These include:

  • most non-fiction books
  • most popular magazine articles
  • most trade publication articles
  • some newspaper articles
  • many scholarly journal articles (other than original research articles)
  • biographies (but not autobiographies – see above)

Tertiary sources provide overviews of topics by synthesizing information gathered from other resources. Tertiary resources often provide data in a convenient form or provide information with context by which to interpret it.

Examples include:

  • encyclopedias
  • almanacs
  • chronologies
  • textbooks
  • most books     

Not all searches will retrieve primary source documents.

If there are any, you can use filters to find them.

Includes the following categories:

  • US History
  • US Culture
  • Canadian History
  • Interviews with World Leaders
  • Religion
  • Environmental Studies
  • Speeches
  • Artworks

Contemporary World Issues Series

Westmoreland County Community College Library - Student Achievement Center, 145 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, PA 15697
Phone: 724-925-4100 | | Library Hours | D2L | FAQs
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