If you are using the novel or poem as evidence—a historical novel, for example—it is a secondary source.
In the same vein, a 19th-century history textbook can be considered a primary source if you are studying how the work was influenced by the period in which it was written or how it fits into a continuum of historical analysis (that is called historiography).
Rather, you are trying to understand the context in which the book was written so you can better analyze its content.
If you are researching a current issue, it stands to reason that you want the most up-to-date sources you can find.
This handout will discuss strategies to evaluate secondary printed sources—books, journal articles, magazines, etc.—based on three criteria: objectivity, authority, and applicability to your particular assignment.
Resource Al Research Papers
Printed sources, whether primary or secondary, provide the evidence for most of the academic essays you will write in college.Do not assume that your sole motive or goal is to eliminate sources.While this may be a consequence of your analysis, your goal should be to understand the context of the work so you can assess how it can inform your argument.Does the author acknowledge an organizational affiliation?The acknowledgements and preface are good places to get the answers to most of these questions.If you have never written a research paper at the college level, the process may appear daunting.The first step, of course, is to develop a topic that investigates a problem important to your discipline.Check out this table to help differentiate primary and secondary sources.Secondary sources will inform most of your writing in college.The questions you will ask about the publisher are similar to those asked about the author.Look in the first few pages of the book for the copyright and publisher information.