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Mathematics & Computer Science @ Webster University Library: Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Defintions

Primary source: an original fundamental and authoritative document pertaining to an event or subject of inquiry; a firsthand or eyewitness account of an event

Secondary source: any document that describes an event, person, place, or thing, usu. not created contemporaneously

Example: A biography is a secondary source and an autobiography is a primary source.

Finding Primary Sources

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