Purdue OWL and Primary Research

Primary research and secondary research goes hand in hand when writing about a given subject. Primary sources or research is a first hand type of source. It is research that you personally collect yourself. It is collecting data from the real world and incorporating it into the assignment. An example of primary research is going out and finding a group of people to survey for a given subject. Another example would be conducting an interview for a given subject. Also observing first hand and taking detailed and thorough notes is primary research and also a very popular choice in my opinion. Secondary research or sources are second hand accounts. For example, finding information at a library or finding information online.


I actually conducted primary research where I had to sit and observe for a certain amount of time to write a paper for English 1101. That allowed me to write a paper that was more credible since I had first hand research. With my final project I feel it is majority primary research so that is most important. Secondary is also very important because it backs up the primary research in a way. For example, on my chosen panel there is a piano. Of course I can make the assumption that the piano was an important instrument to the late Randy Barnett, but without the letter, which would be considered a secondary source, that came along from his cousin, who also happened to be the one who created the panel for him, I would not have known how deep his love for playing the instrument had went. Also without the note, I would not have known who the man in the picture with him happened to be. I would not have known the story of how him and Michael met and fell in love.