What is a primary source when writing a research paper

Papers normally require that a student identify a broad area of research related to the course, focus the topic through some general background reading, identify a clear research question, marshal primary and secondary resources to answer the question, and present the argument in a clear and creative manner, with proper citations. That is the theory, at least.

What is a primary source when writing a research paper

Background Gathering sources is much more complex than it used to be. For starters, there are more resources available. Secondly, information can be gathered in a number of places. Your primary places for locating sources will be: The library Other computer sources CDRoms, etc.

The Difference between Primary Sources and Secondary Sources

You should read this section before going to more specific information on types of sources, documentation, etc. The library If you go to the library, you will find that the old card catalog, which only lists books, has been replaced by a computer in most libraries.

If you are doing research on a fairly new topic, this will be fine. However, not all libraries have their entire collection on line. So, if you are looking for information on say, the Civil War, and think that some older sources might be useful to you, be sure to ask the librarian if the library still maintains their card catalog.

If they do, you should check there as well as checking the computer. The computer in the library usually will have instructions attached to it.

What is a primary source when writing a research paper

Most library systems allow you to search by title, author, or subject headings, and most are cross-referenced. If you know which books you want, or know a specific author who has written books about the field that you are researching, then go ahead and use the title or author categories in the computer.

You also may find it very helpful to use the subject heading category, which will offer you more options for the books that might be useful to you in doing your research.

The subject heading category allows you to put in key words that might lead to books in your interest area.

What is a primary source when writing a research paper

If your search words are too narrow, you will not find many sources; on the other hand if they are too broad, you will not find the search useful either. Key words are words that relate to your topic but are not necessarily in your thesis statement note that it will be most helpful if you have a clear idea about your topic before you begin this type of research, although research can also help to narrow your thesis.

For example, if you are searching for information about women in the Civil War, it would be too broad to enter just "women" and "war. It might also be too narrow to enter the name of a specific woman--you probably need more historical context.

Try key phrases such as "women and Civil War" or "girls and Civil War. You will also discover that there is another great way to find books that might be helpful to you.

As you find books on your topic listed in the computer, you can then track those books down on the shelf. After you finish your work on the computer, ask a reference librarian, or follow the signs on the walls to locate the call numbers that correspond with your books. Sometimes you will find great resources that you were unaware of just by looking on the shelf.

Because libraries are generally organized by topic, you can often find some real "gems" this way. Also check the index in the front or the back of the book the one in the back is always more detailed, but not all books have one to be sure that the information you are looking for is in the book.A primary source is a document, speech, or other sort of evidence written, created or otherwise produced during the time under study, or by a participant.

Primary sources offer an .

The Difference between Primary Sources and Secondary Sources

The experiment: Say you have just conducted the Milgram grupobittia.com you want to write the research paper for it. (Milgram actually waited two years before writing about his study.) Here's a shortened example of a research article that MIGHT have been written.

For example, an article from a northern paper during the civil war will read much differently than an article from a southern paper. When reading primary sources, think about why the piece was written, when it was written, and what it tells us about the writer and the time period.

Some definitions of primary sources: * Primary sources are original materials on which other research is based * They are usually the first formal appearance of results in the print or electronic literature (for example, the first publication of the results of scientific investigations is a primary source.

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Primary Sources for Historical Research | Subject and Course Guides