A primary source is an original work or document. In philosophy, examples of a primary source include an essay written by a philosopher or a book written by a philosopher. A work of criticism that comments on the philosopher's writings, however, is a secondary source. It is one step removed from the original. For more examples of primary and secondary sources, see our Primary Sources Research Guide.
In psychology, a research study is a primary source. Look for terms such as:
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How do you know if a source that you find is research paper quality?
Try putting it through The CRAAP Method of Evaluating Information, a series of questions developed by librarians at California State University, Chico.
This test is designed to work for all information sources, including Web sites.
Click here to find the complete CRAAP Test pdf - just one page!
The acronym CRAAP stands for:
Currency: The timeliness of information.
Relevance: The importance of information for your needs.
Authority: The source of the information.
Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the information content.
Purpose: The reason the information exists.