Primary sources can be tricky. Whether a source is primary depends on how you use it. A primary source is a written text, artifact, or other original creation upon which you focus your analysis and interpretation. For example, an article that analyzes a book, song, or society would be considered a secondary source. However, that article could function as a primary source--if you are analyzing the ideas of the author of that article, then it functions as a primary source. So anything could function as a primary source--just consider how you are using it: if it's the object of your analysis, then it's a primary source.
A secondary source is a work that interprets or analyzes an historical event or phenomenon. It is generally at least one step removed from the event is often based on primary sources. Examples include: scholarly or popular books and articles, reference books, and textbooks.
Tertiary sources are encyclopedias, dictionaries, textbooks and other reference materials that provide broad overviews of particular topics. Where secondary sources summarize and interpret an event or phenomenon, tertiary sources summarize and interpret other resources. They can be a great place to begin studying unfamiliar topics.
21st Century Sociology: A Reference Handbook provides a concise forum through which the vast array of knowledge accumulated, particularly during the past three decades, can be organized into a single definitive resource. The two volumes of this Reference Handbook focus on the corpus of knowledge garnered in traditional areas of sociological inquiry, as well as document the general orientation of the newer and currently emerging areas of sociological inquiry.
Complete texts of the Cambridge Histories series. Volumes are grouped into topics enabling browsing by historical subject areas and includes extensive bibliographic referencing and other leading functionality.
Full-text access to books in the Cambridge Companions in Literature and Classics and Cambridge Companions in Philosophy, Religion, and Culture series. Essays which are intended to serve as reference works for an inter-disciplinary audience. NOTE: WU Libraries do not subscribe to Shakespeare Survey. Please ignore those references in your results; you will not be able to get to the full-text.
Contains almost 200 dictionary, language reference, and subject reference works published by Oxford University Press. Includes over 50,000 additional in-depth, scholarly articles from titles in the acclaimed Oxford Companions Series, plus all 20,000 quotations from the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.