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Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources:

Primary Sources provide "first-hand" testimony or direct evidence concerning a topic under investigation.  They are characterized by their content, regardless of their format. These include:
  • interviews
  • letters
  • speeches
  • photos
  • narratives
  • discussions
  • debates
  • survey research findings
  • community meetings
  • surveys
  • artifacts
  • observations
Often times these sources are created at the time that the events or conditions are occuring, however, Primary Sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs, and oral histories that were recorded at a later date.

Secondary Sources are edited or "second-hand" versions of primary sources.  These sources provide interpretation or analysis of Primary Sources and represent someone else's thinking.  These include:
  • reference materials
  • textbooks
  • databases
  • magazine articles
  • newspaper articles
  • biographies
  • commentaries
  • TV broadcasts
Tertiary Sources are those that can include both original content from a Primary Source as well as edited or interpreted information from a Secondary Source.  These include:
  • Internet web site
  • charts, graphs, diagrams, or tables
  • almanacs
  • directories
  • guide Books

Examples:
Content Area Primary Sources Secondary Sources Tertiary Sources
Literature "Song of Myself" (Poem printed  
in Leaves of Grass)
Journal article about the poem's
historical importance
Publishing history of
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Politices and
Government
U.S. Census Statistics Book about suburban population
changes in the U.S.
Graph showing historical census
of crowding
History Recorded interview with a
Choctaw American Indian
Journal article about Native
Americans who served in WWII
CD-ROM covering Native
American History
Social Science Diary of Anne Frank Book about diaries kept during
the Holocaust
Encylopedia entry of Anne Frank
Art Photographs by Annie Leibovitz Magazine article about 20th century
female photographers
Directory of published photographs
by Annie Leibovitz

"The Millard School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, disability, or age, in admission or access to or treatment of employment, in its programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 5606 South 147 Street, Omaha, NE 68137 (402) 715-8200. The Superintendent may delegate this responsibility as needed. Complaints and grievances by school personnel or job applicants regarding discrimination or sexual harassment shall follow the procedures of District Rule 4001.2. Complaints and grievances by students or parents regarding discrimination or sexual harassment shall follow the procedures of District Rule 5010.2." Not Responsible for information found by linking beyond this page. E-mail addresses are for use by staff, parents, and students relating to school business only. Solicitation is prohibited.

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