Primary and secondary sources refer to the research materials used in an inquiry. Primary sources are the first-hand accounts that are found directly from an event or source.

They are predominantly useful in historical research and can include artifacts or documents closest to the research topic. In most cases, primary sources are developed over the period being studied but can be produced at a later date through eyewitness testimonies. An example of a primary source is the declaration of independence.

On the other hand, secondary sources denote any written account that offers a restatement or analysis of the primary source. They usually try to describe an event or explain what happened.

Secondary sources not only evaluate primary sources but also use them in support of argument or persuasion. Secondary sources serve as a commentary and are not evidence. Examples are biographies, critiques, textbooks, and newspapers.


Practically, it is possible for anyone to create a website. Government and private institutions have so that people can get more information about their business. Likewise, people can create blogs and personal sites where they write about various subjects. Consequently, websites have changed procedures used in gathering and assessing information.

As a result, evaluating a source based on credibility is a requirement in serious writing. Some elements that denote credible websites include its date of publication where the date should not exceed ten years. The authors of the materials should also be renowned individuals.

The website should also be registered by the government and educational institutions with a .gov, .edu, or .ac domain. The website should have a robust academic database. An internet source that does not meet any of these requirements is regarded as not credible.

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William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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