You will encounter primary, secondary, and tertiary sources along the way. As you gather more information, you will find connections between the sources and come to an understanding about concepts related to your topic.
The information below describes a variety of sources that fall into the categories of primary, secondary, and tertiary resources. You will likely work mostly with secondary sources for your project.
Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish if a resource is primary, secondary, or tertiary and it depends on the context of study or the structure of the item in question. There is especially overlap between some secondary and tertiary resources, like textbooks and encyclopedias.
Primary sources relate to first-hand accounts of information created at or around the time of what your are researching. Examples are not limited to but include:
Examples of a primary resources from the UNT Libraries:
Secondary sources often interpret primary sources or research. Authors creating secondary sources synthesize information to report their interpretation and shed new light on a topic. Examples are not limited to but include:
Tertiary resources compile information into a summary, list, or index and refer users to primary and secondary sources. Examples are not limited to but include:
Examples of a tertiary resources available at the UNT Libraries:
"Index to Printed Music An online resource for finding individual pieces of music printed in standard scholarly editions, with over 307,000 index records of individual music works. The database has received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation."