HIST605/EALC590: Medieval Japan: Writing Guides

Course guide for students of HIST 605/EALC 590 on how to use databases available in KU Libraries and find research materials.

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Some sources can be considered as primary sources or secondary sources, depending on how the users treat them.

Primary sources are original objects or documents. They include historical and legal documents, eyewitness accounts, memoirs, letters, autobiographies, statistical data, pieces of creative writing, art objects, etc.

Secondary sources include interpretations of, or discussions/criticism about certain original material. They can be articles in newspapers or magazines, book or movie reviews, or scholarly articles. To learn more about primary and secondary sources, read:

Ithaca College Library. "Primary and Secondary Sources." Undated. http://www.ithacalibrary.com/sp/subjects/primary.

KU Writing Center. "Primary vs. Secondary Sources." Last modified July 2011. http://www.writing.ku.edu/~writing/guides/primary.shtml.

University of California Santa Cruz. "Distinguish between Primary and Secondary Sources." Undated. http://guides.library.ucsc.edu/primarysecondary.

Citaion Tools

Citation management tools allow you to build a database of your references and build your bibliography while writing a research paper. Click here to learn more about citation mangement tools. HOWEVER, please note that these tools are not perfect; you need to manually check to finalize your bibliography.


"Ethics, copyright laws, and courtesy to readers require authors to identify the sources of direct quotations or paraphrases and of any facts or opinions not generally known or easily checked."

---The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, "The Purpose of Source Citations." 

There are several different style manuals. This instruction is based on the style of The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, but please consult with your instructor what manual and style is required for the course.

Click the below to find several citation samples.