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HIST 2310: Early World History: Getting Help in Writing the Research Paper

A course guide for students in Early World History courses

What are Primary Sources?

Primary Sources are documents, contextual items created at the time of study, photographs, manuscripts, diaries, letters, autobiography, recording, artwork, newspapers, and/or artifacts which provide firsthand testimony or experience. Primary sources enable researchers to get as close as possible to what actually happened during an historical event or time period. To touch the past.

Examples can include: 

  • archives and manuscript material
  • photographs, audio recordings, video recordings, films
  • journals, letters and diaries
  • speeches
  • scrapbooks
  • maps
  • published books, newspapers and magazine clippings published at the time
  • government publications
  • oral histories
  • records of organizations
  • autobiographies and memoirs
  • printed ephemera
  • original artwork
  • artifacts, i.e. clothing, ships, instruments, tools, china, household items, furniture
  • research data, i.e. public opinion polls

Check out the below websites to connect with history.

What are Secondary Sources?

A secondary sources is a work that interprets or analyzes an historical event or period after the even occurred and, generally speaking, with the use of primary sources. Allows the historian to investigate the period through sources written after the event occurred. 

Examples: 

  • Bibliographies
  • Biographical works
  • Reference books, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, and atlases
  • Articles from magazines, journals, and newspapers written after the fact
  • History books and other popular or scholarly books
  • Works of criticism and interpretation
  • Commentaries and treatises
  • Textbooks
  • Indexes and abstracts

Writing Help

Difficult Citations

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