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Western Hills Middle School Library: Primary vs Secondary sources

Social Studies

When researching for Social Studies class, you may find and use some primary and secondary sources.   Its important to understand the difference.

Primary source

Primary Source:  Evidence created at the time an event occurred or created by a person with first hand knowledge of an event.

Examples: Diary


                    Document or record





                           Relic or artifact

                     Music, art, poetry

Video about Primary / Secondary Sources

Secondary source

Secondary Source:  Explains, discusses, and provides a summary of information about the primary source material.  Authors and creators of secondary sources were not present for the historical event. 

Examples: Textbook

                   Book about one particular historical event

                   Magazine or newspaper article