Most of the resources found in the collections listed in this guide are primary sources. A primary source is an item produced at the time of an event. It can be a letter, journal, newspaper article, painting, book, speech, or anything else produced by people who are leaving a record of their own personal experiences.
Be aware, however, that some of these collections may include secondary sources. These are sources that are produced by people who were not there. Many books and newspaper articles are secondary sources–they are reporting or reflecting back on events that the author does not have first hand knowledge or experience of.
Chicago Manual of Style
This guide provides examples of how different types of online primary sources are cited using the Chicago Manual of Style, the standard citation format for History.
This guide provides examples of how different types of online primary sources are cited using the MLA (Modern Language Association) Manual of Style, the standard citation format for English and The Humanities
In order to analyze a primary source you need information about two things: the document itself, and the era from which it comes. You can base your information about the time period on the readings you do in class and on lectures. On your own you need to think about the document itself. The following questions may be helpful to you as you begin to analyze the sources:
Source: Carleton College