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Adams State University
Nielsen Library

HGP 471 : Senior Seminar


Welcome! This guide will help you find primary sources for your final paper. Final papers will:

  • constitute a unique contribution to the historiography of the San Luis Valley, Colorado, or the American West
  • be 20-25 pages in length
  • be properly documented and properly cited
  • free of plagiarism
  • use a substantial number of sources

The paper must be well written, free from either significant or numerous errors, and conform to the Chicago Manual of Style (Turabian).

     Contact the library if you need help!

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

A primary source is a document, speech, or other sort of evidence written, created or otherwise produced during the time under study. These sources were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event. Some types of primary sources include:

  • Diaries, journals, and letters
  • Newspaper and magazine articles (contemporary, factual accounts)
  • Government records (census, marriage, military)
  • Photographs, maps, postcards, posters
  • Recorded or transcribed speeches
  • Interviews with participants, witnesses, or people alive during the time under study
  • Songs, Plays, novels, stories
  • Paintings, drawings, and sculptures

A secondary source interprets and analyzes primary sources. These sources are one or more steps removed from the event. Secondary sources may have pictures, quotes or graphics of primary sources in them. Some types of secondary sources include:

  • Biographies
  • Histories
  • Literary Criticism
  • Book, Art, and Theater Reviews
  • Newspaper articles that interpret

Information adapted from CUNY and Princeton libraries.