HST 101: Introduction to World Civilizations: How To Find Sources


Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Primary sources provide direct, firsthand evidence about an event, object, or person. They are not interpretative beyond that original perspective. Primary sources include everything from diaries, letters, manuscripts, audio and video recordings, speeches, artwork, interview, surveys, emails, scientific research results, census records, etc. 

Secondary sources describe, interpret, discuss, analyze, evaluate, and interpret primary sources. Secondary sources are often published works, such as journal articles (found in databases), textbooks, documentaries, and nonfiction books. Secondary sources can also be interpretations of the significance of data sets, book or movie reviews, etc.

Different databases may offer more relevant resources depending on your topic or question. Try searching in several for the best results!

How to Find Journal Articles

Many databases include the full text articles. When that happens, you should see a link to an HTML or PDF document. If you do not see that link, you should see another option for finding the full text, for example: "Get it @ GVSU", "Get full text", "Check for full text", "Request from Document Delivery". Click on the link and follow the prompts. In some cases, you may need to click on the article title to see the PDF link or other options.

If you run into any issues or land on a screen that indicates you have to pay for the article, ask us for help!

  • Chat (Click on the "Ask A Question" button for chat, text, and phone options)
Subjects: History
  • Last Updated: May 21, 2024 9:23 AM
  • URL: https://libguides.gvsu.edu/c.php?g=1337464