The understanding of and requirements for the various sources vary amongst fields. When in doubt, remember that primary sources contain "first hand" information and that secondary sources analyze or summarize primary sources.
|Definition: Raw data; report of original research, discoveries, or ideas.||Definition: Interpretations, commentary, or evaluations of primary sources.||Definition: Sources that compile primary and secondary data on a particular topic.|
|Characteristics: First hand observations, contemporary accounts of events.||Characteristics: Interpretation of an event written after it has occurred||Characteristics: Tend to summarize and/or synthesize information about a topic.|
|Examples: Diaries, Speeches, Interviews, Scholarly Articles (science), Oral Histories, Photographs||Examples: Biographies, Editorials, Journal Articles||Examples: Textbooks, Reference Books, Encyclopedias|