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SHB HISTORY 104: World Civilizations II

Kathleen Walkner

Secondary Sources

A secondary source describes or analyzes a primary source. These sources are one step removed from the actual event and allow you to understand what scholars and other experts know about your topic.

Types of Secondary Sources:

  • Books or articles that explain or review research works
  • Histories and critical commentaries
  • Textbooks
  • Encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference materials
  • Newspaper articles, magazine articles, and webpages authored by people who had nothing to do with the actual research
  • Journal article that summarizes the results of other researchers' experiments

Search@UW - Search Books, Articles and More

Recommended Databases


Below you will find a list of databases we recommend for finding scholarly articles and book chapters. Remember, never assume the sources you find in these databases are automatically "scholarly." While the contents may come from a scholarly or peer reviewed journal, you still need to evaluate to make sure it is indeed a scholarly source. Often times you will come across book reviews, letters to the editor, or editorials in these journals that do not qualify as "scholarly sources." For more clarification, navigate to the scholarly sources page on the left or click on the research help page to connect with a librarian. Book chapters can be considered "scholarly" sources as well as long as they come from an academic book. Check with a librarian if you are not sure.