What is the difference between a primary and secondary source

Research generally incorporates both primary and secondary sources. It is important for students to recognise the difference between a primary and a secondary source and understand how to use them appropriately. Bonus: Download a summary of this post to keep for reference. Download Summary A primary source is a primary or original document or physical object that was written or created: • at the time the situation under study happens, or • by a person who experienced or witnessed the situation directly or who has direct knowledge of it. Examples of primary sources include: • personal documents: diaries, novels, speeches, letters, personal narratives, interviews, firsthand stories, emails • documents from research studies: theses, experiment results, reports, data or findings • original documents: original manuscripts, government or …

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Writing Essays Well: Introductions, Thesis Statements and Topic Sentences

Introductions For the first paragraph of an essay to actually be a proper introduction (in other words, for it to fulfil the requirements of an effective introduction), it must have two elements: 1) a thesis statement 2) a preview or essay plan for the essay. So, what are these two elements? 1) A thesis statement tells the reader about your position on the topic as the author. It serves to focus your ideas on the topic and to indicate why your essay is worth the reader’s time. When you are given an essay question, the thesis statement is your clear and concise answer to the question. For example, for the essay question ‘What were the causes of the Holocaust in World War …

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Shortened Words and Phrases, and Symbols

Some writers may find the correct usage of shortened forms confusing. This does not need to be the case: Once they understand a few basic rules, they can easily use these correctly and consistently. In academic writing, we use three categories of shortened forms: shortened words, shortened phrases and symbols. Let’s take a look at each. Shortened words can be abbreviations or contractions. Understanding the difference between these two types of shortened words is key to avoiding common errors. An abbreviation contains the first letter of a word and one or more other letters, but not the last letter. It always has a full stop immediately after it. For example, the abbreviated form for ‘Victoria’ is ‘Vic.’ with a full stop. If …

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How to Find Academic Sources for Your Essay

When you first begin working on an essay, what is the first place you usually go for information? Most students are likely to go to the internet to look for sources. But, can we trust that the information we will find on the internet is of an acceptable standard? It is hard to think so. When writing academic essays, you need to use academic sources for your research. However, information on most websites is classified as non-academic. It is easy to see why when we consider how easy it is to publish information on the internet. Anyone who can access the internet can write and publish anything there. It is still possible for a student to use the internet as …

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How to Write Your First Draft

After researching and arranging your information and topic sentence in an organised way, it is time for you to present your ideas or arguments in an essay. The most difficult process for many students is writing the first draft. How do you put all ideas into your first draft comprehensively and relevantly? Many times, you may find yourself sitting and facing a blank screen for a long time, not knowing where to start, and end up with nothing. It would be helpful if you have answers for the following questions before you start writing your first draft: 1. What is your answer to the essay question? 2. What main points will you discuss in order to support your argument? 3. …

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How to Write an Essay Plan: An Example

Before you start writing your essay, it is important that you plan it. Below is an example of what an essay plan should look like (including explanations and tips), and how much detail it should contain. You can use this as a guide for your essay plans. Essay Question: Was the Russian Revolution a genuine revolution or was it a coup? Word Limit: 2,000 words Introduction (10% of word limit): 200 words Introductions should never be longer than 500 words, so this 10% guide only applies to essays shorter than 5,000 words. To be considered an Introduction, an Introduction must do two things: Answer the question – It was a genuine revolution. This must be done first. An Introduction must …

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