Conduct Secondary Research Dissertation

Use secondary sources to obtain an overview of a topic and/or identify primary resources.

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For example, if you are writing about people’s opinions on Social Security reform, you could conduct a local survey and see how your local results compare to a nationwide survey conducted by the New York Times. This guide is designed to provide you with an overview of primary research that is often done in writing classes.

Interviews: Interviews are one-on-one or small group question and answer sessions.

Use primary resources to obtain a first-hand account to an actual event and identify original research done in a field.

For many of your papers, use of primary resources will be a requirement.

Primary resources contain first-hand information, meaning that you are reading the author’s own account on a specific topic or event that s/he participated in.

Examples of primary resources include scholarly research articles, books, and diaries.Conducting primary research is a useful skill to acquire as it can greatly supplement your research in secondary sources, such as journals, magazines, or books.You can also use it as the focus of your writing project.Observations provide you insight about specific people, events, or locales and are useful when you want to learn more about an event without the biased viewpoint of an interview.Analysis: Analysis involves collecting data and organizing it in some fashion based on criteria you develop.You can conduct primary research in the form of surveying individuals in the surrounding community and local decision makers to gain more information.For example, if you wanted to write on the connection between the Purdue University Glee Club performance locations and estimated attendance of events, you would have to determine this yourself through primary research methods.Example: You are conducting research on a proposed smoking ban in Lafayette, IN.Little information has been published about the topic other than a few editorials and letters to the editor in the local paper.Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.


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