IRIS 42: Information and Research Instruction Suite for two-year colleges

Primary and Secondary Sources

He said she said

You are writing a paper about the influence Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had on the country's leaders and policies. You find a speech called "I Am a Man, a Black Man, an American," delivered by Clarence Thomas, Justice for the United States Supreme Court, delivered on July 29, 1998.

The speech was printed the September 15, 1998 issue of Vital Speeches of the Day, a periodical. This speech, in this periodical, is a primary source.

Later, as part of MLK events on your campus, you attend a forum commemorating the contributions Dr. King made to education. Comments made at the forum are primary source material. If you use it, however, you must record or transcribe it accurately.

If your school newspaper prints a transcript of the forum, that article would also be a primary source. If the college posts an audio or video recording of the forum to the college website, such a recording would also be primary source material.

You decide to interview one of the forum presenters to fill in some details about Dr. King. That interview is a primary source.

Following the interview you have a email conversation with another of the forum presenters. Those email records are primary sources.

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