How to Compare First & Secondhand Accounts: Lesson for Kids

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Interpreting Visual, Oral & Quantitative Information: Lesson for Kids

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 Different Perspective
  • 0:31 Firsthand Account
  • 1:34 Secondhand Account
  • 2:35 Similarities & Differences
  • 3:05 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Ashley Davis

Ashley has taught first, fourth, and fifth grades and holds a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

In this lesson you will learn to distinguish between first and secondhand accounts. You will learn how to compare first and secondhand accounts when reading to gain information.

Different Perspectives

Think of a diary or a journal. If you've ever written in one yourself, you were writing from your own viewpoint. Can you think of how it is different from a newspaper article? In newspapers, reporters write about things that have happened but most of the time they weren't there themselves.

Diaries are an example of a firsthand account and newspaper articles are an example of a secondhand account. Let's look at both more closely.

Firsthand Account

Firsthand accounts, or first-person accounts, are told by a person that was a part of the action. These accounts will include the person's feelings and opinions about the topic. When writing, the author will use words like 'I' and 'we' to show that they were there and that what they are saying is their experience. Like journals, interviews and autobiographies are also examples of firsthand accounts. Take this example:

'When I walked into the zoo, the first thing I noticed was the smell. I looked to my left and realized it was coming from the flamingo exhibit. It smelled so bad, my stomach started turning so I went looking for my favorite animal: the komodo dragon. The exhibit was closed so I explored the rest of the zoo and saw pandas, lions, otters, and several different kinds of monkeys.'

In this firsthand account, the author gives you facts about the zoo by telling you what kind of animals are housed there. However, you're also given the author's opinions and experience. This mix of facts and opinions and the use of the word 'I' indicate that this is a first-person account.

Secondhand Account

Now, in secondhand accounts, or second-person accounts, authors are not a part of the action. They will use words like 'you,' 'he,' 'she,' and 'they.' Because the writer was not a part of the experience, you are less likely to find the author's feelings and opinions expressed in the text. Like newspaper articles, textbooks and encyclopedias are sources for secondhand accounts. Take this example:

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support 福建福彩网 临海市 湖北省 钟祥市 大同市 兰溪市 湘潭市 松滋市 铁力市 彭州市 厦门市 宜春市 邹城市 彭州市 山东省 金昌市 平度市 海南省 双滦区 忻州市 葫芦岛市 十堰市 平度市 潞城市 临沂市 阜新市 普兰店市 汉川市 兴城市 都匀市 枣庄市 安达市 烟台市 高邮市 梅河口市 江油市 白银市 丰城市 孝义市 石首市 池州市 葫芦岛市 福建省 金华市 梅河口市 胶州市 上虞市 大石桥市 江阴市 吉首市 大庆市 铁力市 深州市 山西省 厦门市 项城市 永州市 原平市 明光市 耒阳市