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Secondary Sources. Strengthening your thesis with the right kind of support. Introduction. Secondary sources are the substantiated ideas and assumptions of others based on research. Finding the right secondary source to support your point is essential for writing effectively.

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Secondary sources

Secondary Sources

Strengthening your thesis with the right kind of support


  • Secondary sources are the substantiated ideas and assumptions of others based on research.

  • Finding the right secondary source to support your point is essential for writing effectively.

  • One can incorporate secondary sources into their writing by quoting or paraphrasing.

  • Citing sources is also essential because one must give credit where credit is due.

Reliable secondary sources
Reliable Secondary Sources

  • A reliable secondary source can be taken from:

    • Academic books, and peer reviewed journals

    • Internet sites ending in –org, -edu, -gov

Explanations of secondary sources
Explanations of Secondary Sources

  • It is important to identify plausible secondary sources:

    Internet Sources

    • Make sure the site that you are viewing is reliable; not many sources have the same intention for one specific audience, that is why we should observe the site and make sure that the information is appropriate.

    • A good secondary source is one that is has several views about a primary source; the more expanded the argument is, the better understanding we can take from it.

Explanations cont
Explanations Cont…

  • To provide an effective writing strategy, one should use secondary sources in their essay:

    • We are commonly asked to use MLA as our structure to cite our sources—

      • To cite quotes, one must add the author’s name/last name, page number, and year of the source after the quote have been transitioned.

      • To have a credible essay, one must cite their sources in their ‘works cited’ so the reader can have an option to view where the information came from.

Explanations cont1
Explanations Cont…

  • The importance of secondary sources is that it provides a persuasive, strong and substantial foundation to build your argument.

  • Citing secondary sources properly will lessen your burden for plagiarism.

Secondary source examples
Secondary Source Examples


    Is a repeat or copy of the words of another person. It helps exemplify claims, and reproduce the language of the source.

  • PARAPHRASING (indirect quotation)

    Borrowing ideas from someone else’s and making your own interpretation/rewording of the ideas. You must credit the original author for the thoughts and ideas.


    Putting the main idea into a brief statement using your own words.



When quoting in your essay, give the author’s name or claim to authority.

Example: Author’s name

In Your Health, Miller Jones wrote that "secondhand smoke is one of the primary culprits of lung cancer” (50).

Example: Claim to Authority Included (Instead of Name)

A prominent American claims that "secondhand smoke may even be more dangerous than firsthand smoke”(Jones 50).



  • Original Passage

    A smile does not mean the same thing around the world.

  • Acceptable Paraphrase

    Internationally, a smile may convey different message, based on cultural factors.


  • Original

    Rap music, in its purest form, presents an entirely new sound. This is one of the reasons rap music tends to be so misunderstood not only by the general public but also by "accomplished" music critics-it is completely unfamiliar.

  • Summarized Version

    Because it’s completely new and unique, the public and music critics have a false impression of rap music.


  • It is important to understand what secondary sources are and where they can be found.

  • To identify a secondary source remember they are not eye witness, they are:

    • Publications: textbooks, magazines, journals

  • Secondary sources are the opinions and research theories of others.

  • A secondary source is told from people who are not the eye witness.

  • These analyze the primary source.

  • When using a secondary source it is important to give credit to who said it.

  • Sources

    • All images used are royalty-free, stock photos from the public domain with permissions for non-commercial use.

    • Axelrod, Rise B., Charles R. Cooper, and Alison M. Warriner.

      "Appendix 2 Strategies for Research and Documentation.” Reading Critically, Writing Well A Reader and Guide. 9th. N.p.: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2011. 635-43. Print.

      • For citation we used Bedford St. Martins citation tool (MLA style)