Primary Sources

Per Dr. Slusher:

A primary reference is a work written by the author of the work you have accessed and referenced.

  • It does NOT have to be the author’s first publication or original work on the topic, but it must be written by the original author.
  • A primary reference can also be, for example, another author's own thoughts and ideas on Carper's pattern or the other author's actual application or evaluation of Carper's pattern them self, etc. To further clarify – within your Paper 1, if you are writing on one of the four patterns of knowing in nursing first identified by Carper, you must give the definition of the pattern, some discussion of the pattern, etc. based on what Carper actually stated and you must use Carper's work to reference what Carper said for the source to be primary (Carper, 1978). The same would be true for Chinn and Kramer if you are writing on the emancipatory pattern of knowing.

  • Another example of a primary reference that could be used would be something such as follows (this is a fictitious example and not something I found in the literature): Smith (2020) stated that the empirical pattern of knowing is still of critical importance to nursing today with the current emphasis on evidence-based practice.

Secondary Sources

Per Dr. Slusher:

A secondary reference is a work written by a second author citing what the first author said.

  • An example of a secondary reference would be Carper's definition of the pattern of knowing in nursing based on what an author other than Carper stated Carper's definition of the pattern to be, etc.

  • You cannot use anything from a source that the author of the source you have has referenced to another author or it would be secondary. For example – (again this example is fictitious & only used as an example) - a secondary reference would be something such as: Carper identified four patterns of knowing in nursing which are as follows: empirics, personal, esthetics, and ethics (McEwen & Wills, 2019). The primary for this example would instead be something such as: Carper (1978) identified four patterns of knowing in nursing which are as follows: ... then make sure that you include the patterns based on those you read in Carper's 1978 publication on the patterns or another reference on the patterns that was authored by Carper.

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