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InfoGuides | Pepperdine Libraries

ENG 380 Maya Angelou: Primary Sources

What is a Primary Source

A primary source is "first-hand" information, sources as close as possible to the origin of the information or idea under study. Primary sources are contrasted with secondary sources, works that provide analysis, commentary, or criticism on the primary source. In literary studies, primary sources are often creative works, including poems, stories, novels, and so on. In historical studies, primary sources include written works, recordings, or other source of information from people who were participants or direct witnesses to the events in question. Examples of commonly used primary sources include government documents, memoirs, personal correspondence, oral histories, and contemporary newspaper accounts.

Primary Literature Resources Found Online

Newspapers

Newspapers can provide you with valuable information. They include books reviews, author interviews, information on book signingss, etc. Historical Newspapers can also provide you with information on how the book was received when it was published, if it was published with in the papers range.