For instance, an analysis of Alfred Hitchcock’s films would focus on the films themselves as a primary source, but might also cite commentary from critics.
A paper that presents an original experiment would include some discussion of similar prior research in the field.
For example, the interviews may provide interesting responses that you want to share with your reader.
Using Secondary Sources Effectively For some assignments, it makes sense to rely more on secondary sources than primary sources.
As a result, the article may distort, sensationalize, or misinterpret the scientists’ findings.
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Even if your paper is largely based on primary sources, you may use secondary sources to develop your ideas.It is crucial to always distinguish between the two—as you conduct research, as you plan your paper, and as you write. Intentional and Accidental Plagiarism Plagiarism is the act of misrepresenting someone else’s work as your own.Sometimes a writer plagiarizes work on purpose—for instance, by copying and pasting or purchasing an essay from a website and submitting it as original course work.In other cases, a writer may commit accidental plagiarism due to carelessness, haste, or misunderstanding.For instance, a writer may be unable to provide a complete, accurate citation because of neglecting to record bibliographical information.Secondary sources are one step removed from primary sources.They present a writer’s analysis or interpretation of primary source materials.Any paper that analyzes a primary text or presents the writer’s own experimental research falls in this category.Here are a few examples: A paper for a literature course analyzing several poems by Emily Dickinson A paper for a political science course comparing televised speeches delivered by two candidates for prime minister A paper for a communications course discussing gender bias in television commercials A paper for a business administration course that discusses the results of a survey the writer conducted with local businesses to gather information about their work from home and flextime policies A paper for an elementary education course that discusses the results of an experiment the writer conducted to compare the effectiveness of two different methods of mathematics instruction For these types of papers, primary research is the main focus.If you are writing about a work (including non-print works, such as a movie or a painting), it is crucial to gather information and ideas from the original work, rather than rely solely on others’ interpretations.And, of course, if you take the time to design and conduct your own field research, such as a survey, a series of interviews, or an experiment, you will want to discuss it in detail.