Secondary sources provide useful and important background information about a topic. These sources are not written or made in the time period they are describing. Secondary sources can include books or articles published by an author or writer who makes an interpretation about an event or topic based upon other primary sources. Secondary sources include most books, encyclopedias, documentaries, websites, and academic journals. The works cited pages, footnotes, and bibliographies of secondary sources can lead you to primary sources as well. You can use the library catalog, databases, and reference books to find secondary sources. Books found in the catalog that you can check out are located downstairs in the STACKS. Reference books are located upstairs and cannot be checked out.
- Academic Journals/Articles • Books about the topic
- Biographies • Reviews
- Textbooks • Criticism
- Websites • Documentaries
- Bibliographies • Abstracts
- Interviews with Scholars or Experts • Articles about the topic
- Encyclopedias* • Reference Books*
*Note: Reference books and encyclopedias can refer you back to primary sources. Reference books and encyclopedias can also be considered tertiary sources. Please refer to your professor on whether or not you can use these sources in your research.
Below are some links to a few websites students may find useful in locating secondary sources outside of the library catalog and databases.
Over 7,000 biographies and daily features that highlight newsworthy stories of people from all walks of life.
- Library Databases
Link to the Victor Valley College Library databases. VVC has 70 different databases for students to utilize for their research, including e-books, academic journals, and newspaper articles.
Contains more than 100 sources, including encyclopedias, dictionaries, and thesauruses with facts, definitions, biographies, synonyms, pronunciation keys, word origins, and abbreviations.
- Internet Archive: eBooks & Text
The Internet Archive and Open Library offers over 8,000,000 fully accessible public domain eBooks from libraries worldwide.