Evaluating Primary and Secondary Sources

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Evaluating Primary and Secondary Sources

Category: Case Study

Subcategory: Classic English Literature

Level: College

Pages: 1

Words: 275

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Evaluating primary and secondary sources
Primary and secondary sources are essential resources in providing information that may not be readily available. However, the latter may not be as reliable as primary sources since they rely on information as passed to the writer and in the process, some may be exaggerated or distorted. Primary sources provide firsthand accounts, thereby, are more dependable in taking the readers through an almost one-on-one experience with the subject being discussed. The plague of London has been recounted in several scholarly and historical works, and although they all attempt to narrate the same issue, there is a significant discrepancy between primary and secondary sources. In a typical example, the first piece written by Samuel Pepys in 1665 takes the readers through the actual events that happened. The second one, written by Daniel Defoe in 1722 – 57 years later is relatively factual and original despite containing sections with secondary information. Almost three hundred years later, in 1961, The Plague and the Fire by James Leasor is replete with secondary information that is considered unreliable and not as entertaining as the original work.

The Diary of Samuel Pepys is a reliable primary source as it provides actual dates and detailed accounts of the bubonic plague. Giving exact details of how bodies were scattered all over along a narrow ally but he was not afraid of corpse…

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