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Source Types

This guide outlines and explains the different source types.

What kind of information source do you need?

There are three types of information sources: primary, secondary, and tertiary. These source types all provide different kinds of information that are appropriate for different  needs. The type of source you need will change depending on what your research topic is and the research question you are needing to answer. Consider this information need when evaluating the source types.

Source Types

Primary sources provide firsthand or original information. Secondary sources describe, analyze, or discuss primary source information. Tertiary sources give a general overview of information and can be utilized to organize primary and secondary sources.

For more information on each source type, choose from:

Primary

Secondary 

Tertiary

Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources