This research guide contains information about primary, secondary, and tertiary sources. If you get stuck, please ask a librarian!
Primary sources offer firsthand evidence. In the humanities, this might be letters, diaries, or creative works. In the sciences, the article that first reports the results of an experiment or trial is considered a primary source.
Secondary sources are one step removed from the primary source. They analyze or interpret past events, creative works, or research findings.
Tertiary sources are "sources about sources" - several steps removed from the primary source. Their focus is on presenting information that is widely agreed on. They are sometimes published with no named author. Examples are general encyclopedias and bibliographies.
In addition to looking at the websites highlighted below, try searching the Web for your topic combined with a word like News, Photos, Interviews, Journals, or Primary Sources. For example, by searching the Web for:
Selena Quintanilla-Pérez primary sources
You can find primary sources in the TLU Library by searching the library catalog. Use Advanced Search to combine your search term with the subject heading Sources (use the drop-down menu to select Subject).
The library has an index called the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature. It is a physical reference source located on the main floor. You can use it to find articles by subject in the library's bound periodicals such as:
You can also use the Reader's Guide to locate periodical articles that the library does not own and request them through ILL.
TLU librarians offer in-depth research help.
Ask a Question: The system will prompt you to send a text or an email, or a live chat if a librarian is available.
During library open hours, ask at the main desk for help finding what you need or help setting up an appointment with a librarian.