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HIS 101: Western Civilization -- 1500: Scholarly & Primary

Use this guide to get started on HIS 101 Western Civilizaton papers and projects

scholarly vs popular

Learn the differences between scholarly, academic articles and popular magazines. Academic journals are often required for research assignments.

from Vanderbilt University

What are scholarly sources?

The publication should be a scholarly journal not a newspaper or popular magazine.
The authors are scholars or professionals in the field and are normally affiliated with an educational institution or organization.
The article should have an abstract, citations and reference list.
Look for a phrases like “this study examines…” or “we did research to find…”
Articles are lengthy with few pictures.
Does not include any advertisements.

primary sources

Learn the characteristics of a primary source and the importance of using these resources in history research.

"What's the difference between Primary and Secondary Sources in History?" The Medieval Historian

What are primary sources?

Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence of an event or time period. They are created by witnesses or recorders who experienced the events or conditions being documented. Often these sources are created at the time when events or conditions are occurring. Primary sources can include:

autobiographies and memoirs
oral histories & interviews
historic sites
speeches & addresses
letters & newspapers from time of event

What are secondary sources?

Secondary sources use primary sources to analyze and interpret history. Instead of first-hand testimony, secondary sources are removed from witnessing the actual event or time period. Secondary sources can include:

books & book reviews
essays & anthologies
critical studies
analysis articles
documentary films

Suffering From The Plague
Suffering From The Plague. Library of Congress. Prints and Photographs Division.
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