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Respiratory Therapy: Primary & Secondary Sources

This guide is your link between the Respiratory Therapy program and the CVTC Library!

What are Primary & Secondary Sources?

PRIMARY SOURCE is a document or record containing firsthand information or original data on a topic. Primary sources are usually created by individuals who experienced the event and recorded or wrote about it. 

Common examples of primary sources include:

  • Letters, Diaries, Memoirs, Speeches, Newspapers written at time of event
  • Court cases, Manuscripts, Patents, Audio/Visual Recordings, Census Figures
  • Photographs, Artwork, Artifacts, Maps
  • Original research studies, Surveys
  • Interviews and Oral Histories


SECONDARY SOURCE is one that was created later by someone that did not experience firsthand or participate in the events in which the author is writing about. Secondary sources often summarize, interpret, analyze or comment on information found in primary sources.

Common examples of secondary sources include:

  • Most Books, Biographies, Essays
  • Encyclopedias, Literary Criticisms
  • Journal articles that do not present new research