|Types of Sources||Definition||Characteristics||Examples|
|Primary||Original documents created or experienced concurrently with the event being researched.||First hand observations, contemporary accounts of the event. Viewpoint of the time.||Interviews, news footage, data sets, original research, speeches, diaries, letters, creative works, photographs|
|Secondary||Works that analyze, assess, or interpret a historical event, an era, or a phenomenon. Generally uses primary sources.||Interpretation of information, usually written well after an event. Offers reviews or critiques.||Research studies, literary criticism, book reviews, biographies, textbooks|
|Tertiary||Sources that identify, locate, and synthesize primary AND secondary sources.||Reference works, collections of lists of primary and secondary sources, finding tools for sources.||Encyclopedias, bibliographies, dictionaries, manuals, textbooks, fact books|
Examples of Primary and Secondary Sources by Discipline
image creditsKim, Eugene, and Philip K. Hopke. "Source Characterization of Ambient Fine Particles in the Los Angeles Basin." Journal of Environmental Engineering and Science 6.4 (2007): 343-53 ProQuest. Web. 7 Feb. 2014.
image creditsMcQueen, Alexander. Ensemble, Widows of Culloden. autumn/winter 2006-7. Dress of McQueen wool tartan; top of nude silk net appliquéd with black lace; underskirt of cream silk tulle. Courtesy of Alexander McQueen. Photograph. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Web. 7 Feb. 2014.