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Research Foundations

Types of Sources

Determine types of sources required by your instructor and what types of sources best fit your topic.

Eisen, A. (2014). Research 101: Format Matters. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKQSQgdUAu4

 Scholarly Sources: Written by experts (scholars, professors, researchers) in a given field, scholarly sources are highly specialized and often individual research projects that include methodology and theory and may undergo a peer-review process. they include journal articles, books, and some sources found on the web. They assume the reader has some knowledge of the topic.

 Trade/Professional Publications: Written by professionals in the field or journalists working for the publisher, these publications report on industry trends, new products or techniques, and discipline-specific news.

 Popular Magazines: Written by journalists or freelance writers, popular magazines inform readers about issues of common interest to the general public.

 Newspapers: Are written for the general public and have different sections (ranging from investigative reporting to editorials). Look carefully at the section and what is being said in the articles to distinguish the types of articles you have found.

 Primary Sources: The terms "primary" or "original" sources are used to describe several different types of sources. In the sciences, original research or primary sources describe an original article. In the humanities, a primary source could be the text of a novel or an artifact such as a diary or map. A few books collect primary sources and a number of web collections (often affiliated with a special collection or museum) provide digitized primary sources.