Secondary source

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A secondary source is a document or recording that writes or speaks about information that is one step removed from the original source.[1] This information is called primary source or original source of the information. Secondary sources interpret, evaluate or discuss information found in primary sources.[2] In historiography, a secondary source is a study written by a scholar about a topic. Secondary sources frequently cite primary sources and other secondary sources.[3] They rarely cite tertiary sources.[3]

Example[change | change source]

A secondary source would be a book on 13th century politics while the Magna Charta itself would be a primary source.[2] Many secondary sources use extensive citations in the form of footnotes or endnotes.

Legal use[change | change source]

The main use of secondary sources in law is to explain the law.[4] They also explain legal concepts.[4] They are used to analyze and describe laws as well as comment on them.[4] Judicial decisions and opinions by qualified experts are secondary sources.[5]

Other pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Randall VanderMey; et al., The College Writer: A Guide to Thinking, Writing, and Researching (Stamford, CT: Cengage, 2014), p. 402
  2. 2.0 2.1 Data Collection and Analysis, eds. Roger Sapsford; Victor Jupp (London: SAGE, 2006), p. 142
  3. 3.0 3.1 F. Allan Hanson, The Trouble with Culture: How Computers Are Calming the Culture Wars (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2007), p. 79
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Andrea B. Yelin; Hope Viner Samborn, The Legal Research and Writing Handbook: A Basic Approach for Paralegals (New York: Aspen Publishers; Austin, TX: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 2009), p. 150
  5. Timo Koivurova, Introduction to International Environmental Law (Oxford; New York: Routledge, 2014), p. 60
  • Derek Harland, A Basic Course in Genealogy: Volume two, Research Procedure and Evaluation of Evidence, (Bookcraft Inc, 1958)

Further reading[change | change source]