What is the role of secondary sources?

Author: Adelle Ebert  |  Last update: Sunday, February 20, 2022

The purpose of secondary sources is to interpret, or explain the meaning of the information in primary sources. Secondary sources help you to understand more about a person's life as well as how and why an historical event happened.

What are two purposes of secondary sources?

A secondary source can be used for three different purposes: it might educate you about the law, it might direct you to the primary law, or it might serve as persuasive authority. Few sources do all three jobs well.

What is the purpose of a secondary source in the study of history?

Secondary sources are created after the studied event/work took place or the studied work was created. They can therefore take into consideration other events and place a primary source in its historical context. Secondary sources are not evidence but rather commentary on and discussion of evidence.

Why is secondary source important?

Secondary sources provide good overviews of a subject, so are particularly useful if you need to find about an area that's new to you. They are also helpful because you can find keywords to describe a subject area, as well as key authors and key references that you can use to do further reading and research.

What is the importance of secondary sources in studying Philippine history?

Secondary Source Databases & Tools. Secondary sources are written after the historical event they describe has occurred. These materials analyze primary sources and draw conclusions from them. Secondary sources provide hindsight, and usally incorporate multiple sources of information about the same event.

What is a secondary source? (3/3)

What is the purpose of a secondary source of law?

Secondary sources are materials that discuss, explain, analyze, and critique the law. They discuss the law, but are not the law itself. Secondary sources, such as Law Journals, Encyclopedias, and Treatises are a great place to start your legal research.

What is the best secondary source?

Secondary Sources
  • Bibliographies.
  • Biographical works.
  • Reference books, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, and atlases.
  • Articles from magazines, journals, and newspapers after the event.
  • Literature reviews and review articles (e.g., movie reviews, book reviews)
  • History books and other popular or scholarly books.

What are the secondary sources of law in South Africa?


Legislation. Case Law (court decisions) Common Law. Custom.

What are secondary sources?

Secondary sources were created by someone who did not experience first-hand or participate in the events or conditions you're researching. For a historical research project, secondary sources are generally scholarly books and articles. A secondary source interprets and analyzes primary sources.

What is secondary source of law?

Secondary Resources

These include reference works such as dictionaries and encyclopaedias, books, theses and dissertations, journal articles, loose-leaf publications, indexes and abstracts. ... Books often provide a useful overview or in-depth examination of the relevant branch of law.

What are the examples of secondary sources?

Examples of secondary sources include:
  • journal articles that comment on or analyse research.
  • textbooks.
  • dictionaries and encyclopaedias.
  • books that interpret, analyse.
  • political commentary.
  • biographies.
  • dissertations.
  • newspaper editorial/opinion pieces.

Is Wikipedia a secondary source?

Wikipedia as a source

Wikipedia, as an encyclopedia, is a tertiary source. However, Wikipedia and sources that mirror or source information from Wikipedia may not be used as secondary or tertiary sources. Wikipedia articles are sometimes used as primary sources in articles about Wikipedia.

Are secondary source of law binding or persuasive?

Primary sources (such as cases, statutes, and regulations) have binding authority, whereas secondary sources do not; instead, secondary sources have persuasive authority, and can be used to support your legal argument.

How do you write a secondary source?

To cite a secondary source:
  1. Provide a reference list entry for the secondary source you are citing.
  2. In the text, identify the primary source and then write "as cited in" the secondary source that you used.
  3. If the year of publication is known for the primary source, also include it in the text.

Are secondary sources authoritative?

Some secondary sources are so authoritative that courts themselves rely on them in their rulings. Restatements of the Law are a prime example of such an authority. ... In short, because secondary sources reflect how the law is viewed, they are truly essential to a more comprehensive understanding of the law.

Why are sources of law important?

Sources of law are the origins of laws, the binding rules that enable any state to govern its territory. The term "source of law" may sometimes refer to the sovereign or to the seat of power from which the law derives its validity.

What is the relevance of secondary sources of law in addressing legal questions?

Secondary sources help the researcher to identify and understand the law. Though generally not cited as legal authority, courts will sometimes use them to help explain legal terms or ideas.

Are secondary sources binding?

Unlike primary legal sources, secondary sources are generally not binding on courts (for an exception see Restatements, below). You may cite secondary sources in a memorandum or article when you wish to provide the reader with a more in-depth explanation of a topic.

Is references a secondary source?

What is an indirect citation or secondary source? An indirect citation or secondary source is when the ideas of one author are published in another author's text but you have not read or accessed the original author's work. ... In the reference list, provide the details of the work in which you found the quotation or idea.

Is memo a secondary source?

Typically, primary sources include: Unique documents or manuscripts - letters, diaries, journals, writings, speeches, photographs, scrapbooks, etc. Historic records of an organization - correspondence, memoranda, minutes, annual reports, etc.

Is newspaper a secondary source?

Newspaper articles can be examples of both primary and secondary sources. ... Some articles may contain both descriptions of historical events as well as analysis or comparison to contemporary ones, but they are still considered secondary sources.

Why is dictionary a secondary source?

A secondary source is one that gives information about a primary source. ... A third level, the tertiary source, such as an encyclopedia or dictionary, resembles a secondary source in that it contains analysis, but attempts to provide a broad introductory overview of a topic.

Why encyclopedia is a secondary source?

A secondary source is not an original source. It has no direct physical connection to the person or event being studied. Examples of secondary sources might include: history books, articles in encyclopedias, prints of paintings, replicas of art objects, reviews of research, academic articles.

What is a secondary source in an essay?

A secondary source, then, is a source that has also done analysis of the same (or a similar) topic. You will then use this source to discuss how it relates to your argument about the primary source. A secondary source is a mediary between you and the primary source.

What is the importance of primary and secondary sources?

Primary sources provide raw information and first-hand evidence. Examples include interview transcripts, statistical data, and works of art. A primary source gives you direct access to the subject of your research. Secondary sources provide second-hand information and commentary from other researchers.

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