Research work


While conducting research, a researcher has to gather information from a lot of sources. There are varieties of sources such as newspapers, articles, published papers, and to complete research work. These sources are divided into two major categories such as primary sources and secondary sources. A primary source is a type of source that gives you firsthand information. It can be said that such information is never published or available in written form. A secondary source provides second-hand information. This is the type of information that is already published, and the researcher can extract relevant information. The most common examples of primary sources are interviews, diaries, and speeches. Examples of secondary sources are journals, articles, reviews, academic books, etc. So, this is the most common difference between primary and secondary sources. Researchers use both of these sources in their work as per the requirements of research.

What Is A Primary Source?

A primary source can be referred to as any information providing a direct connection with your area of research. These sources are always the center of your analysis. If a researcher is conducting research regarding any past event, he doesn’t have direct access. In that case, he needs to take help from primary sources that were at that time. Such sources can be explored with the help of participants or witnesses—for example, letters, photographs, or even newspapers. If a researcher is conducting research in present times, primary sources can be divided into two categories. Those categories are qualitative data and quantitative data that a researcher collects himself. The most common examples in this regard are interviews, surveys, and experiments. This may also include people who are directly involved in your area of research, official documents, and media reports.

What Is A Secondary Source?

A secondary source can be defined as anything or information that explains or analyses the primary source information. The most common examples in this regard are given below:

  • Books and articles that provide specific information related to the online research work.
  • Synopses
  • Already published research works and journals that present facts regarding the topic.
  • Reviews related to the area of research can help to extract further information.
  • The Library database is also a secondary source.

When you are citing a secondary source, it does not analyse the information directly. But, you can make some new arguments or points either in favour or against to help yourself generate your own ideas. It is important to note that such sources are cited for a large audience with the help of theories and principles. This way, a study has been summarized that covers the relevant areas of your research.

How To Differentiate Between A Primary Source And A Secondary Source:

Few simple criteria can help a researcher to differentiate between primary and secondary sources.  There are few questions that are needed to ask and given below are a few of them:

  • Is this source coming directly from someone related to this research (primary), or does it have some other source (secondary)?
  • Is a researcher himself interested in analyzing the source (primary) or considering already published information (secondary)?
  • Is the source providing firsthand authentic information (primary) or based upon other sources (secondary)?

The questions mentioned above are a few of the questions that can help a researcher regarding a source. According to the manager of the dissertation writing services firm said that a source is taken into consideration, having a clear perspective and the nature of the research. It is encouraged that a researcher should use primary sources. The reason behind this is, a primary source provides sufficient information.

Which Source Is Better?

Most of the time, researchers use both primary and secondary sources in their researches. Apart from that, they give credit to other researchers to help them conduct good research work. In this regard, primary sources are always credible sources, as is the firsthand information that caters to all the research areas. On the other hand, secondary sources help a researcher build a strong argument and show coherence to existing work. Therefore, there are few more questions given below that will help understand each source’s better usage.

  • Why Do Researchers Use Primary Sources?

Primary sources are always considered as a foundation to authentic research. They always allow a researcher to

  • To discover or explore something new.
  • Provide efficient information that can help to build a strong argument
  • Help you to conduct your research in an informative way

Why Do Researchers Use Secondary Sources?

Secondary sources always help a researcher to gain a complete overview of your area of research and topic. Furthermore, such sources help researchers to have a complete understanding of how such researches were conducted previously.  Such sources allow a researcher to

  • To gain sufficient background information regarding your research topic
  • favors or opposes your ideas when they are compared with other research works
  • Help you to gather that information and facts that cannot be accessed straight away
  • To conduct a literature review as it gives you an overview of your research topic


A researcher can use either primary or secondary, or even both sources in his research work. Each of these sources has different advantages and disadvantages that vary from research to research. Research work is conducted with a perspective to innovate or explore the different sides of the research. If research is not achieving its prime objectives, then it is just ordinary work. But it is important to note that each research work has different objectives and whole new requirements. The CEO of a cheap dissertation writing services firm said that the prime objective of the research is achieved when a researcher conducts according to the requirements. Few kinds of research require secondary sources, but a lot of researches require primary sources. If a researcher considers primary sources in his work, it will make his work credible and authentic. So, using primary sources in the research work is a better option than using secondary sources as it will positively impact the readers.


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