Primary Research

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George Thompson
Meriam Llibrary 305
California State University, Chico
Chico, CA 95929-0205


Step 1: Definition and Guide

Primary research refers to research you conduct yourself. This type of research differs from secondary research which draws from previously collected data or research. You may want to conduct primary research if there is little to no data on the subject for which you need information or to compare your results to existing research.

Examples: surveys, polls, interviews, observations, analysis, ethnographic research

The Online Writing Lab from Purdue University offers a useful guide to primary research. Read through the links to the below guide to learn more about primary research.

You can also consult this table to help determine what sort of research you would like to conduct. 

Step 2: Library Resources

Once you know the type of primary research you want to conduct you will need to find more information about that particular type of research. Are you interviewing an expert? Designing a survey? Observing a group of people? Below is a small selection of Meriam Library's resources that will help you continue your project.

Meriam Library | CSU, Chico