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HIS3942: Labor in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era

A Guide for Students in Dr. Steven Noll's History Practicum

 What are Secondary Sources?

Secondary sources are works that analyze, interpret, and synthesize information from a combination of primary sources and other secondary sources. Works of scholarship including journal articles, conference papers, dissertations, and monographs are secondary sources.

Not all secondary sources are scholarly. Popular sources, such as magazines articles, newspaper articles, and history websites can also be secondary sources, but they are geared toward a broad, general audience. Popular sources have not undergone peer review, and typically they do not have citations. You should generally avoid using popular sources for your assignments unless you are using them as primary sources.

Secondary sources can sometimes also be primary sources. For example, Winston Churchill's A History of the English-Speaking Peoples published in 1956 is a secondary source if you are using it for research on British history prior to the twentieth century. However, for understanding British national identity in the mid-twentieth century, it would serve as a primary source.

 What is a Monograph?

The scholarly monograph is one of the principal forms of communicating scholarly research in history. A monograph is a book (or eBook) that focuses on a single specific topic, and is usually written by a single author. Monographs in history seek to answer a question through the use of extensive historical evidence while contributing to the broader historiography of the topic they address.

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