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Finding Primary, Secondary, & Tertiary Sources

tips for searching and evaluating

Research Questions and Sample Resources at Tomlinson Library

Earth-like planets:  fact or fiction?

Primary Source Secondary Source Tertiary Source

NASA, ESA, & Kalas, P. (2008, November 13). HST ACS/HRC wide view of Fomalhaut b planet in 2004 and 2006. Retrieved from

(an original digital image from the Hubble telescope)

Mayor, M., Lovis, C., & Santos, N. C. (2014). Doppler spectroscopy as a path to the detection of Earth-like planets. Nature [London]513(7518), 328-335. doi:10.1038/nature13780

(a scholarly article from a journal accessed through the Science Direct database)

Weissman, P. R., McFadden, L. A., & Johnson, T. V. (1999). Encyclopedia of the solar system. San Diego : Academic Press, c1999.

(a reference book with background articles and information, available in print and as an ebook)


Feminism Versus Patriotism:  a comparison of the effects of contemporary political climates on the origin stories of Wonder Woman

Primary Source Secondary Source Tertiary Source

Marston, William Moulton, writer, and Harry G. Peter, artist. The Origin of Wonder Woman. New York: DC Comics June, 1942. Print. Vol. 1, Issue #1 of Wonder Woman.

(an original single issue comic)

(Darowski, Joseph J., ed. The Ages of Wonder Woman: Essays on the Amazon Princess in Changing Times. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2013. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 2 June 2016.

(an ebook collection of critical essays, available as an ebook through the ProQuest database)

Horn, Maurice. The World Encyclopedia of Comics. New York: Chelsea House, 1976. Print.

(a print reference resource of vintage comics)


Does campaign-related social networking increase the offline political participation of college students?

Primary Source Secondary Source Tertiary Source

Vissers, S., & Stolle, D. (2014). Spill-Over Effects between Facebook and On/Offline Political Participation? Evidence from a Two-Wave Panel Study. Journal of Information Technology & Politics11(3), 259-275. doi:10.1080/19331681.2014.888383

(an original study on the topic)

Levine, A., Dean, D. R., & Levine, A. (2012). Generation on a tightrope. [electronic resource] : a portrait of today's college student. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2012.

(an ebook that includes a chapter on contemporary college students' political activity and habits)

Froiland, J. M. (2015). Political Apathy and Youth. Research Starters: Sociology (Online Edition).

(a more general reference article from a database that includes suggestions for further research)