Conceptualize: What are primary sources?
Some questions students will learn to answer
- How do I know if a source is a “primary” source?
- What is the difference between a primary and a secondary source?
- How do I know if I need a primary source for my research question?
- Can anything be a primary source?
Learning objectives this module will address
- Distinguish primary from secondary sources for a given research question.
- Articulate what might serve as a primary source for a given project.
- Draw on primary sources to generate and refine research questions.
- Understand that research is an iterative process and that as new sources are found and analyzed the questions may change.
Sample exercises that may be used in this module
- Concept, Data, Sources exercise. Map possible sources to your paper outline.
- What’s in your wallet? Document exploration. Examine how your everyday life creates primary source documents.
- Working backward: Citation analysis practice. Explore how researchers document their sources in books and articles.
- What is primary? The primary sources continuum. Examine the role of primary, secondary, and tertiary sources.