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Source Types

This guide outlines and explains the different source types.

Tertiary Sources

Tertiary sources are based off of secondary sources and give an overview of a topic or subject area. These include reference books and periodicals.

Examples are: 

  • biographies
  • encyclopedias
  • dictionaries

Reference Sources

Encyclopedias and dictionaries are tertiary sources and are widely known as reference sources. Reference sources can provide a brief overview of a topic or subject area. 

Some examples of reference sources:

  • almanacs
  • anthologies
  • bibliographies
  • dictionaries
  • encyclopedias
  • handbooks
  • manuals