Primary v. Secondary Sources
In general, a primary source is closest to the event, person, idea, or period that you are studying.
Secondary sources discuss and analyze primary sources; they're called secondary sources because they are at least one step removed from the primary source.
Newpaper articles can be either a primary or secondary source. If an article was written at the time a policy was being debated by congress it can be considered a primary source. If an article analyzes a policy years after it took affect a newspaper article would be considered a secondary source.
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This guide provides an overview of strategies for locating primary sources, including archival and manuscript material.
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Use for researching Congress or finding Congressional documents like bills. laws, legislation, serial set, debate, Congressional Record, CRS reports, primary source documents, hearings, prints, reports and policy.
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Here is a list of some of the most comprehensive library databases for searching current newspapers.
Newspaper articles are excellent resources for following the history and background of policy development. While much of our current news is available from individual newspaper web sites, you will likely need to consult library databases to search for older newspaper articles.