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BUS 105: Exploring Business

Primary Sources - What Are They?

Primary sources are original materials. They provide direct evidence or firsthand account of an event, experiment, person, company or object. Examples of primary sources include eyewitness accounts, interviews, autobiographies, drawings, statistical data, and journals articles reporting original research.

Secondary sources describe, summarize, review, interpret, and analyze primary sources.  Examples of secondary sources include books and book chapters, newspapers, magazines, trade publications, and journals articles that describe and evaluate original research done by other people.

In business, primary sources provide information about what a company or industry says about itself. Examples include annual reports, financial statements, press releases, interviews, speeches, blog entries or tweets. Secondary sources provide information about what others think about a company or industry. Examples include pre-packaged company, industry or market reports, articles from newspapers, magazines and trade publications.


Primary Sources in Business - Examples

  • annual reports

  • SEC filings, 10K reports

  • news releases

  • legal documents

  • interviews

  • corporate policies and codes

  • financial statements

  • promotional materials

  • meeting minutes

  • market surveys