IRIS 42: Information and Research Instruction Suite for two-year colleges

Primary and Secondary Research

You're a researcher with options

As you work through the Explore module of the IRIS tutorial, you'll find it covers many types of information such as you'll find in libraries and on the web. You'll gain an appreciation for the ways they differ and the uses they're suited for. The information you find may be from primary sources or secondary sources.

However, please don't overlook that when you are doing research on a topic, you can create knowledge yourself. Some things are best learned directly, through primary research. You can conduct primary research a number of ways, for example, by doing an experiment or conducting a survey. You can also gather information on your own, such as by interviewing an expert, emailing an artist, observing a bee hive, or by going to a museum and looking at armor.

The Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL) has a section on conducting research with a subsection devoted to conducting primary research. It covers the distinction between primary and secondary research as well as guidance on methods and the proper approach to primary research.

OWL Family of Sites > OWL > Research and Citation > Conducting Research > Research Overview

  • Primary Research

  • OWL Family of Sites > OWL > Research and Citation > Conducting Research > Conducting Primary Research

  • Conducting Primary Research

  • Outcomes:

    After completing the module on Primary and Secondary Research, students will be able to:

    • Distinguish primary research from secondary research (which may include both primary and secondary sources.)
    • Done. Return to Menu >>


    updated:9 October, 2012