SECONDARY SOURCES DEFINED
Secondary sources build off of primary sources with more extensive and in-depth analysis. They summarize, evaluate, and analytically interpret primary material, often by offering a personal perspective. While these are useful to check what other experts in the field have to say, they are not evidence. It is one step removed from the original or primary source. Because secondary sources are published works, they will list their sources of information which can be used to located additional information for your research.
Use secondary sources to see what others have discussed. You can also use secondary sources to explore what subtopics have already been explored on a given topic.
General examples: Textbooks, monographs (books), analysis, review articles, dissertations, thesis,
History: Article analyzing Queen Elizabeth I's speech; book recounting battle history of World War II; biographies
Literature: Literary critiques such as an article that examines Cervantes' writing style; paper discussing motifs in The Metamorphosis
Art: Lecture given about Michelangelo's techniques; Criticism or review of Picasso's painting
Social Sciences: News commentaries; Article analyzing results of mental illness study; book that discusses population trends over time; evaluations of social and government policy, law and legislation.
Natural Sciences: Review articles that evaluates the theories and works of others; article on the environmental impact of pollution
Repplinger, John. "Primary, Secondary, & Tertiary Sources:." Willamette University, 5 Apr. 2019,
libguides.willamette.edu/primary-sources. Accessed 15 Apr. 2019.
At the end of the video it gives you a phone number to contact. DON'T use the phone number in the video. If you have any questions contact the SFCC Library at 509-533-3834.
If you find an article in Google Scholar that does not seem to be available online catalog, the SFCC Library can get it for you! Just submit an online interlibrary loan request.
Keep in mind that it may take ten days to two weeks for print materials to arrive. Articles will be primarily emailed and typically take up to 24-72 hours to arrive.
When searching online you can narrow your search by specifying the domain. The domain is the part of the url address that specifics who is creating the website. Some of the most commonly used domains are below.
When researching your topics try specifying the website domain. For example, a search for LGBTQ AND law site:.gov will only bring results from government websites. If you search for LGBTQ AND civil rights site:.org will mostly get results from non-profit organizations.
Remember to be strategic with you research and use the "Evaluation" tab on this guide to evaluate the sources you find online.
Short brief summaries of historical background, geography, society, economy, transportation and telecommunications, government and politics, and national security. Update the more in-depth Country Studies series.
Good resources for history but beware most of these books were written in the 1990's. Colombia & Cuba were revised in 2002 but Chile, El Salvador, Ecuador, Peru and Paraguay are older.
A large collection of miscellaneous country web sites.
Last updated 2007
Maps by region illustrating history of the region.