Is This A Primary Or Secondary Source?

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Is This A Primary Or Secondary Source? - Quiz

You are doing a paper on the Vietnam War. Are the following sources primary or secondary? Type in your name to start the game.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    A diary written by a soldier who fought in the war.

    • A.

      Primary

    • B.

      Secondary

    Correct Answer
    A. Primary
    Explanation
    A diary is usually a primary source--the author was an eyewitness to the event.

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  • 2. 

    A book written by a historian who didn't fight in the war, but draws on other sources.

    • A.

      Primary

    • B.

      Secondary

    Correct Answer
    B. Secondary
    Explanation
    This is a secondary source. It is a secondhand source--the author is drawing on others for information rather than sharing their own experiences.

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  • 3. 

    A newspaper article about Vietnam written in the 1960s.

    • A.

      Primary

    • B.

      Secondary

    Correct Answer
    A. Primary
    Explanation
    Newspaper articles from the time period of an event are usually considered to be primary. They are original, raw materials created while the event was taking place.

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  • 4. 

    A TV documentary filmed by a reporter who toured Vietnam during the war.

    • A.

      Primary

    • B.

      Secondary

    Correct Answer
    A. Primary
    Explanation
    TV, radio, and films can be primary if they portray the actual event--not a reenactment. Since this documentary recorded the actual war, it is a primary source.

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  • 5. 

    A 2007 journal article about the Viet Cong with a formal writing style, bibliography at the end, and lots of analysis and interpretation.

    • A.

      Primary

    • B.

      Secondary

    Correct Answer
    B. Secondary
    Explanation
    The article was written well after the war ended. It has a formal writing style so the author is probably not recounting their own experiences. It analyzes and interprets other sources (it has a bibliography) rather than shares the author's personal experiences. Sounds secondary.

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  • 6. 

    A book about the war where the author says things like "I was drafted at age 18..."; "I flew to Vietnam a few months later..."; "We fought in five battles..."

    • A.

      Primary

    • B.

      Secondary

    Correct Answer
    A. Primary
    Explanation
    A book where the author provides firsthand accounts of their experiences, such as being drafted, flying to Vietnam, and fighting in battles, is considered a primary source. It offers direct insights into the author's personal involvement in the war, making it a primary source.

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  • 7. 

    A book that compiles letters, poems, and memoirs written by people who experienced the war.

    • A.

      Primary

    • B.

      Secondary

    Correct Answer
    A. Primary
    Explanation
    A book that compiles letters, poems, and memoirs written by people who experienced the war would typically be considered a primary source. 

    Primary sources are materials that provide direct or firsthand evidence of an event or time period and are created by individuals who were directly involved or witnessed the event. In this case, the letters, poems, and memoirs in the book were written by people who experienced the war, making them primary sources. The book itself, which compiles and presents these materials, can also be considered a secondary source when it provides analysis or interpretation of the primary sources.

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  • 8. 

    Military orders, battle plans, draft laws, and other government materials from the war.

    • A.

      Primary

    • B.

      Secondary

    Correct Answer
    A. Primary
    Explanation
    These materials were created during the fighting, so they are primary.

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  • 9. 

    A biography of General Westmoreland (who commanded American forces in Vietnam) written by one of his officers.

    • A.

      Primary

    • B.

      Secondary

    Correct Answer
    A. Primary
    Explanation
    This book is probably primary because it was written by someone who knew Westmoreland personally.

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  • 10. 

    A biography of General Westmoreland by an author who didn't know the general, and drew on other sources for their information.

    • A.

      Primary

    • B.

      Secondary

    Correct Answer
    B. Secondary
    Explanation
    The author is drawing on other sources for their biography. The biography is a secondhand source because the author didn't actually know Westmoreland.

    Rate this question:

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  • Current Version
  • Mar 07, 2024
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team
  • Aug 24, 2012
    Quiz Created by
    Dbspence
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