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ENVR 30: Environmental Issues: Primary/Secondary Sources

Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources

Primary, Secondary, Tertiary publication order vs research order

Diagram that explains Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources, as well as how they relate to Publishing and Research.

Understand primary & secondary sources

from Hartness Library CCV/Vermont Tech (3:17)

More examples...

Primary Sources

  • Government documents
  • Laws
  • Public records
  • Census data
  • Maps
  • Memoirs
  • Letters
  • Images/photographs

Secondary Sources


Some sources can be considered either primary or secondary, depending on the content and the discipline. If the source presents original information/research, it is generally considered primary. If it summarizes or analyzes existing information/research, it is generally considered secondary. Your instructor should be the final arbiter if you have questions.