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Keywords

Here are some keywords to use in your searches. Remember to use terms that will narrow your search! 

  • Absolute monarchy
  • Access rights
  • Accrual method
  • Age
  • Age of Discovery
  • Age of Enlightenment
  • Agent provocateur
  • Ancient history
  • Annales School
  • Annals
  • Anno Domini (AD)
  • Anthropology
  • Antiquarian
  • Antiquarianism
  • Antiquities
  • Antiquity
  • Archaeology
  • Archival bond
  • Archival science
  • Archive
  • Archontology
  • Art history
  • Artifact (also artefact)
  • Audience
  • Autobiography
  • Auxiliary sciences of history
  • Avalonia
  • Before Christ (BC)
  • Before the Common Era (BCE)
  • Bibliography
  • Blitzkrieg
  • Bolsheviks
  • Book review
  • Bottom-up approach
  • Bronze Age
  • Buranji
  • Caesar
  • Calendar
  • Century
  • Charter
  • Chorography
  • Chronicle
  • Chronology
  • Classical antiquity
  • Circa (also abbreviated c., ca., circ., or cca.)
  • Citation
  • Classical tradition
  • Classics (also called Classical Studies)
  • Cliometrics
  • Codex
  • Codicology
  • The Coherence Theory of Truth
  • Colonialism
  • Common Era (CE)
  • Comparative history
  • Congo Craton
  • Context
  • Correspondence theory of truth
  • Counterfactual history
  • Crypto history
  • Cultural history
  • Culture
  • Dark Ages
  • Dossier
  • Diplomatics
  • Discipline
  • Economic determinism
  • Economic history
  • Edwardian
  • Empire
  • Enlightenment
  • Environmental history
  • Epigraphy
  • Episteme
  • Epoch
  • Era
  • Ethnohistory
  • Fakelore
  • Floruit (fl.)
  • Folklore
  • Fonds
  • Genealogy
  • Gondwana
  • Gregorian calendar
  • Hagiography
  • Hegemony
  • Heraldry
  • Hermeneutics
  • Historian
  • Historical classification
  • Historical method
  • Historical negationism
  • Historical realism
  • Historical record
  • Historical revisionism
  • Historical thinking
  • Historicism
  • Historicity
  • Historiography
  • History
  • Human history
  • Humanism
  • illuminated manuscript
  • imperialism
  • Industrial Age
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Interpretation
  • Iron Age
  • Journal
  • Julian calendar
  • Lacuna
  • Landscape history
  • Legend
  • Local history
  • Longue durée
  • Lore
  • Macrohistory
  • Manuscript
  • Microhistory
  • Middle Ages
  • Migration
  • Military history
  • Modern history
  • Modernity
  • Monograph
  • Myth
  • Mythology
  • Notaphily
  • Numismatics
  • Natural history
  • Onomatology
  • Palaeography
  • Paleo-Tethys Ocean
  • Pangaea
  • Past
  • Periodization
  • Phaleristics
  • Philately
  • Philology
  • Political history
  • Post-classical history
  • Prehistory
  • Presentism
  • Primary source
  • Prosopography
  • Protohistory
  • Provenance
  • Pseudohistory
  • Public history
  • Quantitative history
  • Radical history
  • Radiocarbon dating
  • Regnal year
  • Renaissance
  • Respect des fonds
  • Revolution
  • Rodinia
  • Romanticism
  • Reference work
  • Revisionist history
  • Saeculum
  • Scientific Revolution
  • Secondary source
  • Seal
  • Sigillography
  • Social history
  • Statistics
  • Stone Age
  • Stratigraphy
  • Subaltern
  • Teleology
  • Terminus ante quem (TAQ)
  • Terminus post quem (TPQ)
  • Tethys Ocean
  • Three-age system
  • Time
  • Timeline
  • Timeliness
  • Top-down approach
  • Toponymy
  • Transhistoricity
  • Typology
  • Universal history
  • Unwitting testimony
  • Urban history
  • War
  • Warfare
  • Whig history
  • Women's history
  • Yuga

Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources

What the difference between a primary, secondary, and tertiary source?

  • Primary sources are created as close to the original event or phenomenon as it is possible to be. For example, a photograph or video of an event is a primary source. Data from an experiment is a primary source.
  • Secondary sources are one step removed from that. Secondary sources are based on or about the primary sources. For example, articles and books in which authors interpret data from another research team's experiment or archival footage of an event are usually considered secondary sources.
  • Tertiary sources are one further step removed from that. Tertiary sources summarize or synthesize the research in secondary sources. For example, textbooks and reference books are tertiary sources (Text in this section is from Suny Empire College's guide: Research Skills Tutorial).

Why is this Important?

For your research assignments, you are asked to find primary, secondary, and tertiary sources. You'll need to be able to recognize the difference between all three. Remember primary sources are about the event. Secondary sources analyze the event and interpret another author's work. Tertiary sources summarize events from other authors after the event has occurred. 

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