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Assignment | Honors Research Project (Ross): Primary Sources

GOVTH 2306 | Prof. J. Ross (Spring 2021)

Primary Sources

Primary sources may include newspaper articles written on an event as it was happening.  Sometimes an eye-witness is recounting an event on the legislative floor or the vote on a bill is being published. The text of laws, bills, statutes, and court opinions are primary sources. Government websites will contain laws, statutes, and court opinions.

Primary sources give us direct glimpses into how people thought and felt at the time. To learn more about primary sources, click on the Primary Sources link appearing at the top right of this page.

Examples of primary sources:

  • Diaries, letters, manuscripts, autobiographies 
  • Speeches
  • Photographs, drawings, and other creative works
  • Sound recordings
  • News footage and newspaper articles from the period
  • Artifacts like clothing and furniture
  • Original research reports and lab notes
  • Laws, statutes, and court opinions

Below are a number of governmental and newspaper information source links. Some of the information available in this sources will be primary. It is the relationship the information has to the event, person or topic that determines this source type. Consider the examples above to determine if a particular article or webpage is actually a primary source.

Government Websites

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