For research projects you will be using two basic types of information: Primary and Secondary. Your instructor will usually tell you what types of information he or she expects you to use for your research.What's the difference between these types?
Primary (Think of this as Firsthand):
Primary information is comprised of original materials that were created first hand. This type of information is from the time period involved and has not been filtered through interpretation. Examples are:
Secondary (Think of this as Second Hand):
Secondary information is made up of accounts written after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. Therefore, secondary information interprets and evaluates primary information. Examples are:
When you use Google or any social media to get your information how do you know it can be trusted? How do you know it's not biased?
You can feel pretty confident that books you get from the library and articles you find in the library's databases are reliable because someone or some group has checked all the facts and arguments the author made before publishing them. You still have to think about whether or not the book or article is current and suitable for your project but you can feel confident that it is a trustworthy source.
Make sure each and every source you plan on using in your paper or research assignment passes the CRAAP test.
Watch the brief video below to see how this works.