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Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources: A Quick Guide: Tertiary Sources

Understanding the differences among these three types of sources with examples for each type. Click on the TABS to access each section.

What is a Tertiary Source?

Tertiary sources are publications that summarize and digest the information in primary and secondary sources to provide background on a topic, idea, or event. Encyclopedias and biographical dictionaries are good examples of tertiary sources.

Access Science. [New York]: McGraw-Hill.

American National Biography. [New York]: Oxford UP, 2000- .

International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. 2nd edition. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2015- .

New Dictionary of the History of Ideas. New York: Oxford UP, 2013.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Military and Diplomatic History. New York: Scribner, 2005.

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Michael Engle
106 Olin Library
Cornell University Library

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