A secondary source is a document or recording that writes or speaks about information that is one step removed from the original source. This information is called primary source or original source of the information. Secondary sources interpret, evaluate or discuss information found in primary sources. 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. They rarely cite tertiary sources.
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. 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. They also explain legal concepts. They are used to analyze and describe laws as well as comment on them. Judicial decisions and opinions by qualified experts are secondary sources.
Other pages[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- Randall VanderMey; et al., The College Writer: A Guide to Thinking, Writing, and Researching (Stamford, CT: Cengage, 2014), p. 402
- Data Collection and Analysis, eds. Roger Sapsford; Victor Jupp (London: SAGE, 2006), p. 142
- F. Allan Hanson, The Trouble with Culture: How Computers Are Calming the Culture Wars (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2007), p. 79
- 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
- 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)