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What's the difference between a primary source and a secondary source? Can we provide examples of each?
A primary source is information from the actual time, place or event. [ In addition to eyewitness accounts, routinely compiled records also count as primary sources. A secondary source is information that has been analyzed by someone, or rewritten, or evaluated, like information from a textbook or article. Gossip (that is repeated later information, often distorted or garbled) has no value at all as evidence. A primary source is material produced by someone who was at the scene, event, or occurrence. These may be letters, drawings, paintings, objects, photos, or video. A secondary source is
a later report or discussion or a textbook. Both primary and secondary sources can be altered to favor a certain point of view, so should be used with caution. School textbooks, encyclopedia articles and the like are generally compilations of several secondary sources and are therefore tertiary sources. Let's imagine I want to know what you had for breakfast this morning. There are a number of ways I could find out. For instance I could ask one of your friends or I could ask a relative. The information I gained as a result may well be true. However, if your friend wasn't there at the time their information might be wrong. If I choose to believe that person I'm accepting a secondary source. What can I do to make sure that the data I get is as accurate as it possibly can be? Obviously I need to ask YOU what you ate for breakfast. You are my primary source for that information. ]
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Asked 1/24/2013 11:26:41 AM
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