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THIST 475 Twentieth Century British History - Sundermann: Scholarly Secondary Sources

What is a secondary source?

Secondary sources are pieces created some time after a historical event that provide analysis and attempt to understand a specific event or movement in historical or cultural context. Secondary sources may include articles, books, book chapters, podcasts, and documentaries.

What makes it a "scholarly" source?

"Scholarly" refers to the author and the audience of the source. Scholarly sources are written by and for an academic audience (that's you!). Usually the author is a professor or has an advanced degree in history or related subject. The most common scholarly sources in history include:

  • Peer reviewed articles. Peer review is a process where other experts in the field read, review, suggest edits, and ultimately approve or reject the article before it is published. It is a system that helps us have confidence that the published paper is thorough and well-researched. These articles are often found in library databases and academic journals.
  • Academic books and book chapters. Academic books often have an index. Sometimes they can be edited by 1-2 experts while each chapter is written by a different academic, all based on a theme. The chapters themselves may included bibliographies at the end with extensive citations. Often they are meant to be read in pieces (each chapter stands on its own).

Start here: scholarly articles

Examples: scholarly books & chapters

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