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Evaluate your own use of sources from your previous submissions for your upcoming written paper.
a. Briefly review which sources you have used, and how you determined which is which from the reading.
b. Your paper will need to include one Primary source in your end-product- typically in business writing (and journalism) to bring focus on the topic area. Address what primary source you expect to use- and how it will provide balance to your paper.
Reading:
Reading: Primary and Secondary Sources- A Mix of Both
Comparing Primary and Secondary Sources
When you do research for your MAN3910 paper, you have to gather information and evidence from a variety of sources.
Primary Sources:
Primary sources provide raw information and first-hand evidence. Examples include interview transcriipts, statistical data, and financial statements and standardized submissions to a business firm like a SEC 10k or 10Q report. A primary source gives you direct access to the subject of your research.
A primary source is anything that gives you direct evidence about the people, events, or phenomena that you are researching. Primary sources will usually be the main objects of your analysis.
If you are researching the past, you cannot directly access it yourself, so you need primary sources that were produced at the time by participants or witnesses (e.g. letters, photographs, newspapers).
If you are researching something current, your primary sources can either be qualitative or quantitative data that you collect yourself (e.g. through interviews, surveys, experiments) or sources produced by people directly involved in the topic (e.g. official documents or media texts).
Secondary Sources:
What is a secondary source?
A secondary source is anything that describes, interprets, evaluates, or analyzes information from primary sources. Common examples include:
Books, articles and documentaries that synthesize information on a topic
Synopses and descriiptions of artistic works
Encyclopedias and textbooks that summarize information and ideas
Reviews and essays that evaluate or interpret something
When you cite a secondary source, it’s usually not to analyze it directly. Instead, you’ll probably test its arguments against new evidence or use its ideas to help formulate your own.
Secondary sources provide second-hand information and commentary from other researchers. Examples include journal articles, reviews, and academic booksLinks to an external site.. A secondary source describes, interprets, or synthesizes primary sources.
While primary sources are more credible as evidence, but good research uses both primary and secondary sources.
Examples of sources that can be primary or secondary
A secondary source can become a primary source depending on your research question. If the person, context, or technique that produced the source is the main focus of your research, it becomes a primary source.
For example, if you were looking for the source of data breaches in major US banks, an article on a recent rash of data breaches may be a secondary source. But if you are searching the method of a breach in a specific bank and are researching losses.
How to tell if a source is primary or secondary
To determine if something can be used as a primary or secondary source in your research, there are some simple questions you can ask yourself:
Does this source come from someone directly involved in the events I’m studying (primary) or from another researcher (secondary)?
Am I interested in analyzing the source itself (primary) or only using it for background information (secondary)?
Does the source provide original information (primary) or does it simply comment upon information.
Primary vs secondary sources: which is better?
Most research uses both primary and secondary sources. They complement each other to help you build a convincing argument. Primary sources are more credible as evidence, but secondary sources show how your work relates to existing research.
What do you use primary sources for?
Primary sources are the foundation of original research. They allow you to:
Make new discoveries
Provide credible evidence for your arguments
Give authoritative information about your topic
If you don’t use any primary sources, your research may be considered unoriginal or unreliable.
Primary vs secondary sources: which is better?
Most research uses both primary and secondary sources. They complement each other to help you build a convincing argument. Primary sources are more credible as evidence, but secondary sources show how your work relates to existing research.
Primary sources are the foundation of original research. They allow you to:
Make new discoveries
Provide credible evidence for your arguments
Give authoritative information about your topic
If you don’t use any primary sources, your research may be considered unoriginal or unreliable.
What do you use secondary sources for?
Secondary sources are good for gaining a full overview of your topic and understanding how other researchers have approached it. They often synthesize a large number of primary sources that would be difficult and time-consuming to gather by yourself. They allow you to:
Gain background information on the topic
Support or contrast your arguments with other researchers’ ideas
Gather information from primary sources that you can’t access directly (e.g. private letters or physical documents located elsewhere)
Outside of your literature courses, most of the writing you have done so far at SCF is probably a literature review. When you conduct a literature review, you can consult secondary sources to gain a thorough overview of your topic. If you want to mention a paper or study that you find cited in a secondary source, seek out the original source and cite it directly.
Remember that all primary and secondary sources must be correctly cited to avoid plagiarism.

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