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4. Secondary Research

Secondary sources consist of data that has already been produced and can be contemporary or historical, qualitative or quantitative.

Secondary sources include

  1. Documents
  2. Letters
  3. Diaries
  4. Autobiographies
  5. Referencing other forms of research and using quotes

The benefits of the use of secondary sources include:

  1. Save time and money
  2. May provide information and access to historical data
  3. May be used to prove or disprove an argument or theory
  4. May be used to offer general background information
  5. Can be used to set the scene of the research and its findings
  6. May be useful for putting the research into context

Researchers must always carefully consider the reliability and validity of secondary sources.