A historical primary source is a document or physical object written or created during the time under study.
Primary resources contain first-hand information, meaning that you are reading the author’s own account on a specific topic or event that s/he participated in.
How you choose this may depend on your preferences and abilities, and the suitability of particular approaches to your topic.
You need to be able to justify why you have chosen to use such data.
The use of literature and case studies is considered and the merits of primary research are debated and advice is given on the use of existing research data.
You may not be fond of statistics, but the potential relevance of a quantitative approach should be considered and similarly, the idea of qualitative analysis and conducting your own research may yield valuable data.
This will help you gain an overall picture and understanding and thus lead to better and more revealing research – remember that a good academic researcher will always dig down and search for the answers to any initial answers that are given.
Needless to say that you should ensure the other person’s permission has been sought before you actually record anything.
The possibilities of using quantitative and qualitative data are also discussed.
Watch video on approaching methodologies (.wmv) Your approach, research design, and research question are all connected.