Biological Anthropology Lab Guide

class guide for biological anthropology lab papers. More questions? please contact Tony Stankus.

Life Sciences Librarian

Tony Stankus's picture
Tony Stankus
Mullins Library Room 223 M

I gladly meet with students & faculty one-on-one throughout the year, and work the Research Assistance Desk in Mullins on Thursday nights as well. To set up an appointment, e-mail me to suggest days & time of day that will work best for you. For distance/online learners, and for on-campus students in distress, I will happily take your call on my personal cell phone 479-409-0021 and walk you through your task. This includes all day and evenings Mon-Sat, Sunday nights & most holidays. I can also email you suggestions in a back & forth manner , to get you "unstuck." Put me to work to keep your coursework, research, and career on track.

Content reused with permission from a similar guide by Necia Parker-Gibson

What's a Primary Source?

What is considered a primary source varies somewhat by discipline. In any case, think of a primary source as first-hand knowledge, eyewitness accounts, reports or testimony about (X topic).

  1. A primary source is the first report of research, published as a journal article, a research report or conference proceeding, or if extensive, a book, or book chapter. They include methodology, data and results, and discussion.
  2. Some areas of anthropology use direct observation, personal narratives, manuscripts and artifacts, or interviews and case studies as primary sources. Letters, diaries, speeches, art, and manuscripts may all be primary sources.
  3. A primary source may be an artifact, such as a bone or pot, a piece of art, such as a painting or sculpture, a musical score--whatever item that is directly created by the artist, writer, photographer, etc. or is regarded as the baseline source of information.

What are Primary Sources?

Here's a great definition from the American Library Association:

"Primary sources are original records created at the time historical events occurred or well after events in the form of memoirs and oral histories. Primary sources may include letters, manuscripts, diaries, journals, newspapers, speeches, interviews, memoirs, documents produced by government agencies such as Congress or the Office of the President, photographs, audio recordings, moving pictures or video recordings, research data, and objects or artifacts such as works of art or ancient roads, buildings, tools, and weapons. These sources serve as the raw material to interpret the past, and when they are used along with previous interpretations by historians, they provide the resources necessary for historical research."

--Using Primary Sources on the Web, rev. 2008.

Articles in Biological Anthropology

Secondary and Tertiary Sources

A secondary source is based on other sources. It includes analysis, criticism, or other intellectual input. Review articles are based on analysis of the published 'literature' (books, articles and dissertations about the topic). Secondary sources can include books, book chapters, articles, especially literature reviews, and some book reviews.

A tertiary source is commonly a resource or tool that helps people find primary or secondary sources. Tertiary sources include most bibliographies, databases and indexes, and library catalogs.