Next are the same sources translated into other languages.
Say you want to write a paper on the causes of Communisms demise in eastern Europe. Or say you want to write about how conceptions of national identity have changed in Britain since the 1980s.
You would begin by reading some general secondary sources on the collapse of Communism, from which you might surmise that two factors were predominant: economic problems of Communist central planning and Mikhail Gorbachevs reforms in the Soviet Union. In this case, you might examine the speeches of British political leaders, editorials in major British newspapers, and voting support for the Scottish National Party or other regional parties.
Those are skills that you will use in any profession you might eventually pursue.
To write first-rate research papers, follow the following simple ruleswell, simple to repeat, but too often ignored by most undergraduates.
Most university courses involve some sort of extended writing assignment, usually in the form of a research paper. Long after you leave college, you will continue learning about the world and its vast complexities.
Papers normally require that a student identify a broad area of research related to the course, focus the topic through some general background reading, identify a clear research question, marshal primary and secondary resources to answer the question, and present the argument in a clear and creative manner, with proper citations. There is no better way to hone the skills of life-long learning than by writing individual research papers.
Follow up the suggested reading on the course syllabus or the footnotes or bibliographies of the texts you are reading for the course.
After that, speak with the professor about some of your general ideas and the possible research directions you are thinking about pursuing.
There are, however, gradations of primary evidence.
The best sources are those in original languages that are linked to persons directly involved in the event or development that you are researching.