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Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sources: Secondary

This guide intends to clarify and differentiate three types of research sources, helping users discern and select academic-quality sources of information.


Books and journal articles discussing or analyzing Darwin's notes, sketches or theories in depth, are SECONDARY sources. Secondary sources, which interpret, analyze, or otherwise filter primary, or other secondary, sources, are explained here.


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Secondary Sources: A Closer Look

Frequently, a source that is not a primary source is a SECONDARY source. Typically, secondary sources comment upon, analyze, or draw information from primary sources. Secondary sources can also interpret, critique, or explain primary sources.


  • Many books and journal articles have been written analyzing, interpreting, critiquing, refuting or corroborating Charles Darwin's thoughts on natural selection and the concept of evolution.
  • Such books and journal articles are SECONDARY sources, like this e-book (electronic book) available at the NYIT Library: Darwin and Modern Science: Essays, A.C. Seward (Ed.).

Like this e-book about Charles Darwin and his science, a secondary source analyzes, interprets, filters, or otherwise discusses primary source material.




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Eduardo Rivera
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