Answered By: Jenna Troidl
Last Updated: Apr 24, 2020     Views: 3

What is the difference between primary and secondary sources?


A primary source is a firsthand account from participants or observers of an event or period of time.

Primary sources include:

  • Original research
  • Personal experience reports
  • Recorded interviews

A secondary source is a description, analysis or recounting of a primary source.

Secondary sources include:

  • Research reviews
  • Coverage of someone else's experience
  • Interpretations of interviews

See the History guide for examples of historical primary and secondary sources.