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Honors 298 Arab-Israeli Conflict - Fordham: Find Articles, Reports, and Documents

Primary and Secondary Sources

Primary and Secondary Sources

Primary sources are original materials and first hand accounts of an event. They are typically created at the time the event took place.  Examples:

  • Letters, diaries, autobiographies, oral history, manusripts
  • Speeches, personal narratives, interviews
  • Newspaper articles written at the time of the event; photographs
  • Government documents, hearings, reports, statistical data, trial transcripts
  • Original research (research studies published in academic journals)
  • Works of art, literature, music
  • Artifacts, tools, clothing, furniture, coins

 

Secondary sources interpret or analyze events. They are usually at least one step removed from the event. Examples:

  • Scholarly or popular books
  • Reference books
  • Textbooks
  • Journal Articles

Google Scholar Search

 

Google Scholar Search Tips

Search Tips

Get the most out of Google Scholar with some helpful tips on searches, email alerts, citation export, and more.

Finding recent papers

Your search results are normally sorted by relevance, not by date. To find newer articles, try the following options in the left sidebar:

  1. click "Since Year" to show only recently published papers, sorted by relevance;
  2. click "Sort by date" to show just the new additions, sorted by date;
  3. click the envelope icon to have new results periodically delivered by email.

Locating the full text of an article

Abstracts are freely available for most of the articles. Alas, reading the entire article may require a subscription. Here're a few things to try:

  1. click a library link, e.g., "FindIt@Harvard", to the right of the search result;
  2. click a link labeled [PDF] to the right of the search result;
  3. click "All versions" under the search result and check out the alternative sources;
  4. click "Related articles" or "Cited by" under the search result to explore similar articles.

If you're affiliated with a university, but don't see links such as "FindIt@Harvard", please check with your local library about the best way to access their online subscriptions. You may need to do search from a computer on campus, or to configure your browser to use a library proxy.

Getting better answers

  • If you're new to the subject, it may be helpful to pick up the terminology from secondary sources. E.g., a Wikipedia article for "overweight" might suggest a Scholar search for "pediatric hyperalimentation".

  • If the search results are too specific for your needs, check out what they're citing in their "References" sections. Referenced works are often more general in nature.

  • Similarly, if the search results are too basic for you, click "Cited by" to see newer papers that referenced them. These newer papers will often be more specific.

  • Explore! There's rarely a single answer to a research question. Click "Related articles" or "Cited by" to see closely related work, or search for author's name and see what else they have written.

Websites

The list below contains both primary and secondary sources related to Western Civilization. 

Ancient History Encyclopedia
An Encyclopedia of general history resource, covering all time periods of human history.

The Avalon Project
Primary documents in law, history & diplomacy from Yale.

British History 1700-1920
An edited collection of materials from Spartacus Educational (UK).

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