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Red Deer College

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How to Research

Information for Confluence Campus students abut the research and citation.


Primary vs. Secondary Sources

You may come across the terms primary sources and secondary sources.

Primary sources are original works or research before it has been commented on, analyzed, or interpreted.

  • diaries/letters
  • maps
  • art
  • video/film
  • newspapers
  • photographs
  • published first-hand accounts, or stories
  • manuscripts

Secondary sources provide commentary or analysis on primary sources.

  • history textbooks
  • journal and magazine articles that review or provide analysis
  • books that provide criticism or commentary
  • encyclopedias

Search Tools

Use the library catalogue to find:

  • books
  • DVDs
  • encyclopedias

You can access our library catalogue here:

Use an article database to find:

  • newspaper articles
  • magazine articles
  • journal articles

Use a search engine (google) to find:

  • websites
  • blogs
  • podcasts


Learn More

Information Cycle

To learn more about finding information visit this RDP link.

Defining Primary and Secondary Sources

For more information about defining sources visit the Library and Archives Canada link provided here.