When doing research for a paper such as an essay or a thesis, students will come across different information coming from different places be it online or the library. These resources are classified as primary or secondary resource.

Primary sources are generally what you call original studies which includes documents, object, or even eye witness accounts. Basically, this source is where your information initially appears such as when a recent discovery which is then turned into a scientific study, reports from this study will be reported via journal (must be published though) by the scientist(s) who conducted the research.

Secondary source is a document which tackles the primary source. Basically, it talks about the primary source such as reports (including news incidents), analysis, discussion and interpretation of primary resources. Some examples of secondary sources include the following:

  1. Looking for surveys such as surveys for students, or professionals
  2. Reports about a new journal such as a report on new microbes that can potentially arm people
  3. Analysis paper or even a meta-analysis on randomized control trial groups of paper counts

The secondary source and its way of writing depends on the primary source you need to talk about. For example, you wish to write a review on the type of organism found in Nebraska and want to make it into a video for your social media platform. You first have to read about the species itself based on the journal presented by the scientist.

Often than not, secondary sources are slowly becoming the primary sources used by students of different academic levels; however, as a student, you must learn to practice using primary sources because they are much better than secondary sources.

What exactly are primary sources?

Primary sources include the following:


  • Photographs
  • Newspaper articles
  • Journals
  • Books
  • Letters
  • Diaries
  • Any artifact from a specific time period

What are recommended websites to look for primary source?

We get it, not all has the financial and non-financial capabilities to avail all primary sources nor could they properly conduct interviews and fieldworks without them which is why we took the liberty to write down websites you can choose for writing your paper:

  1. JStor
  2. essaybasics.com
  3. Google Scholar
  4. SAGE Publications

Usually, for a specific field, there are numerous websites that can provide you free paper such as Medline, COHRAINE, and PubMed for those belonging in the medical field. Always take the time to search for the source you will need though, since it is not always online you can find such sources. Take your time to go to the library and read books there since there are many instances that papers are catalogued in libraries.
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Lastly, please be mindful of journals you have to pay for. We are aware there are numerous websites that can provide crack versions for papers and we know that you are students so instead of cracking the paper, please message the owner of the paper and ask them if you can use them for scientific purposes because really, at the end of the day, they are still people who work as scientists to earn a living for their family that they need to feed or single citizens that need to make a living in this world.