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FNDS 1607: Real Housewives of Crime

Understanding Primary & Secondary Sources

"Understanding Primary & Secondary Sources" by Imagine Easy Solutions

Primary Sources

"Primary sources are materials produced by people or groups directly involved in the event or topic under consideration, either as participants or as witnesses," (A Pocket Guide to Writing History, 5th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2007).

These primary sources are what historians, criminology experts, art and literary critics, researchers, etc. rely on to interpret history, movements, events, and crimes. Primary sources differ based on subject. For history they are first hand accounts of an event, topic, or time period. These sources can be diary entries, laws, ephemeral such as fliers, newspaper articles, photographs, speeches, etc. For art, primary sources are any original artistic piece. Such as paintings, sculptures, music, plays, poetry, and any other original form of artistic creation. For criminal justice studies primary sources are photographs of a crime, testimonials, confessions, trial transcripts, physical evidence, and other artifact found at a crime scene.

Image of a sculptureImage of someone writing in a diary

Graffiti of a woman's faceImage of a crime scene

For information on how to find primary sources, check out the Recommended Databases page on the left hand side.

Secondary Sources

Secondary sources are written about primary sources or past events. Secondary sources can be reviews of art, textbooks, encyclopedias, analysis or criticism of other works or events, and newspapers or news media.

Book with glasses on topNewspapers

For information on how to find secondary sources, check out the Recommended Databases page on the left hand side.

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