In secondary sources, authors analyze and interpret primary source materials.
Secondary sources can be scholarly or popular. Scholarly sources (sometimes called "academic" or "peer-reviewed" sources) are written by and for experts and typically include bibliographies and citations. Popular sources are written for a general, non-expert audience and can be authored by anyone.
There are several databases from which to choose when you are seeking scholarly work. For this course, you most likely will want to start your search with America: History & Life which indexes the published work of historians. Always make sure that you've selected the most appropriate database to search!
Always use the advanced search interface and some combination of the following techniques to increase the effectiveness of your searches:
|Search Technique||What It Does|
|quotation marks||Searches for exact phrase|
|Truncation (usually an *)||Searches for all forms of a word|
|Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT)||Lets you broaden or narrow your search|
|Database thesaurus or index||Allows you to pinpoint the exact indexing terms the database uses|