Keywords vs. Subject Headings
Keyword searching uses any words you can think of that best describe your topic. When entered into a search box, they will search across several fields in a database, for example the title, author, subject, and full text fields. A keyword search can be the first step on the way to finding subject headings appropriate to your topic and using them to get more relevant results.
What Are Primary Sources?
Primary sources are original materials that were created firsthand; they have not been run through the filter of interpretation. Often they are created during the time period that is being studied (correspondence, diaries, newspapers, government documents, art) but they can also be produced later by eyewitnesses or participants (memoirs, oral histories). You may find primary sources in their original format (usually in an archive) or reproduced in a variety of ways: books, microfilm, digital, etc.
Why Use Primary Sources:
Because primary sources are the documents or artifacts closest to the topic of investigation, they are a great way to gain insight into and an understanding of an event or topic. You may find primary sources in their original format (usually in an archive) or reproduced in a variety of ways: books, microfilm, digital, etc. For example:
What Are Secondary Sources?
Secondary information is made up of accounts written after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. It is comprised of interpretations and evaluations of primary information. Secondary information is not evidence, but rather commentary on and discussion of evidence.
Why Use Secondary Sources:
Because secondary sources are written with the benefit of hindsight and interpretation, they are useful at helping you understand your topic and seeing what scholars and other experts have to say about it.
Try adding these words to the end of your search to focus on primary sources:
For example: american revolution sources
(Adapted from Modesto Junior College)
Credible & Scholarly Sources of Information
Make sure each and every source you plan on using in your paper or research assignment passes the CRAAP test.