Section 2 Books > Periodicals > Web sources > Primary/Secondary sources > Review > Exercise

Primary Sources


For primary sources on an individual, look for diaries, memoirs, correspondence, speeches, interviews, lectures, essays, anything written or spoken by the individual.
For primary sources on an historic event, look for contemporary accounts of the event, such as those that appeared in newspapers or those by  individuals living at the time. For example, slave narratives are a wonderful primary source on slavery by people who lived it.           
  Documents, such as the Declaration of Independence,  Martin Luther's Ninety-five Theses, the text of a treaty, or a Supreme Court decision, are another kind of primary source about an event or issue.
Statistical data, such as that provided by the Census, would be a primary source for a paper on the United States population. The numbers provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (as well as other government agencies) would be primary source material on numerous aspects of the labor market. 


Creative work, such as poems, plays, paintings, films, musical compositions are all primary sources for studies of artists and their work.








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