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Potomac State College

BIOL 117 Research Guide: Finding Primary Sources

How to find primary and secondary sources and format citations for a lab report on plant nutrient deficiencies.


What is a primary source?


Darwin C. c1836. Brassica rapa specimen collected on the voyage of the 'Beagle': Dec. 27, 1831-Oct. 2, 1836 [digital scan]. Cambridge University Herbarium. [uploaded 2014; accessed 2017 March 30]. Available from


  • Original material
  • First-hand evidence or account
  • Created while it's happening
  • Created by person who was there

Examples:  studies, data, maps, first-hand news accounts, diaries, letters, original photos, drawings, speeches, autobiographies

Find studies and other primary sources HERE:

WVU LOGIN Information

To access library resources when you are off-campus, enter your WVU username and password (what you use for MIX and eCampus).