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ESL: Advanced Writing: Home

Primary versus Secondary Resources

Primary and secondary resources can be viewed differently depending on your discipline.  Some good question to ask to help you determine if the resource is primary or secondary are

  • Was the research performed by the author or do they analyze the research of others?
  • Was the data for the study collected by the author or did they use data collected by someone else?
  • Was the author directly involved with or did the author observed the event described or did they discuss it without being there?
Some good general information about primary, secondary, and tertiary resources can be found at:
Some information about how disciplines view primary and secondary information can be found at: