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Primary sources in this case might include economic statistics, memoirs of politicians from the period or reportage in east European newspapers (available in English or other languages). You might also arrange an interview with an expert in the field: a noted scholar, a British government representative, a prominent journalist.The point about primary sources is that they take you as close as possible to where the action isthe real, on-the-ground, rubber-meets-the-road facts from which you will construct your interpretive argument.
Obviously, you need to have a firm grasp of the facts of the case, but you must then move on to answer a serious and important why or how question in the paper itself.
Real research means something other than reading secondary sources in English or pulling information off the Internet. What counts as a primary source, though, depends on what kind of question you are trying to answer.
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.
At the beginning of a course, you will probably not know enough about the major scholarly topics that are of most importance in the field, the topics that are most well-covered in the secondary literature or the topics that have already had the life beaten out of them by successive generations of writers.
You should begin by doing some general reading in the field.
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.
In your research, you should endeavor to get as close as possible to the events or phenomena you are studying.
But, of course, no one can speak every language and interview every participant in a political or social event.