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EXP202: Expository Writing (Wright)

This guide has been created to provide you with the resources and tools for you succeed in your research endeavors in your Expository Writing course.

Primary Sources

What are primary sources?

Primary sources are first-hand accounts of an event, topic, or historical time period and are original documents created or experienced contemporaneously with the event being researched.


  • Newspaper accounts
  • Letters, diaries, journals
  • Personal accounts, autobiographies, memoirs
  • Interviews
  • Speeches
  • Creative works
  • Data
  • Government documents

NOTE: Many of these types of primary sources can be found in books and/or ebooks.

Secondary Sources

What are secondary sources?

Secondary sources are one step removed from a primary source and are analyses, interpretations, or critiques of primary sources.


  • Books
  • Articles
  • Essays
  • Criticisms or commentaries

Tertiary Sources

What are tertiary sources?

Tertiary sources provide a general overview or summary of a topic and may contain both primary and secondary sources. 


  • Encyclopedias
  • Almanacs
  • Textbooks
  • Other reference sources