Primary Sources: defined as something created at the time of the event. Primary sources are usually first-hand accounts of something that has happened. Think about it this way... if someone from the time period could actually lay their hands on it (newspaper, diary, photograph, etc) then it is probably a primary source.
Examples of primary source material:
Secondary Sources: defined as sources that describe, report, analyze, and/or quote from original primary sources. Secondary sources are not created at the time of the event, but rather interpret the event through the use of primary sources.
Examples of secondary source material:
Where it can get weird...
Sometimes secondary sources can be primary sources and this is where you need to think critically.
Need more help? Here is a link to a video by EasyBib that gives an overview of the differences: https://vimeo.com/87001150
In order to find and effectively use information, you need to first understand how it is produced. This is where the information timeline comes in - it shows the progression of information about an event or topic. Understanding this timeline will help you better evaluate what sources you should turn to in order to find the best information.