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HIST 281: War in Modern Africa

Professor Thabiti Willis - Fall 2020

Reference Sources

Types of Sources

Think of the paper you're writing as a story that you are narrating. In this story, you want both primary and secondary sources. Your job as a scholar of history is to weave together primary and secondary sources to make a new, coherent argument.

  • Primary source = A book, article, picture, letter, document, or other item that was produced in the past. 
  • Secondary source = Scholarship that is reflecting back upon and analyzing something that happened in the past.
  • Reference source = Books or databases that contain quick facts, short essays, bibliographies, descriptions of trends in scholarship. 
  • Database = An organized place this information is stored online.