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American Literature

Primary Source Collections & Databases

Primary sources provide raw information and first-hand evidence. Examples include interview transcripts, statistical data, and works of art. A primary source gives you direct access to the subject of your research.

Secondary sources provide second-hand information and commentary from other researchers. Examples include journal articles, reviews, and academic books. A secondary source describes, interprets, or synthesizes primary sources.

Tertiary sources, also called a reference work, is a source that gives an overview of information gathered from primary and secondary sources but does not provide original interpretations or analysis.

Examples include:

  • Dictionaries
  • Encyclopedias
  • Databases
  • Bibliographies

    Published on Scribbr (May 19, 2022) by Eoghan Ryan.