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Pacific Lutheran University

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WRIT 101 - Dolan

Library research guide for Writing 101: Exercise as Medicine.

What are primary sources?

Primary sources are...

  • created by a person or people who directly experienced or witnessed an event
  • document evidence of that event, which can take many forms: photographs, research data, research reports, diary entries, eyewitness accounts, and more

In addition, a primary source in science or medicine...

  • is created by a researcher in that field, or a group of researchers working together
  • documents an experiment, study, or intervention conducted by the creator(s)
  • includes evidence, typically collected data
  • also cites prior evidence created by other researchers in the field
  • uses more formal, technical terminology than everyday discussion of the same concepts
  • is primarily written to be read by other experts in the field
  • is published in a peer-reviewed journal

Some examples