This research guide has been created to specifically help students enrolled in SSI2-125. For more information on navigating library resources during the Spring 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, please go to Remote Access to Library Services and Resources. Please don't hesitate to ask for research help!
In academic research, it's important to be able to distinguish between different types of sources. These differences often are contextual, meaning that a single source might fit in different categories depending on how you are using it and in what academic discipline you are writing.
Primary sources are the raw materials of scholarship.
Secondary sources report on or interpret primary sources.
Tertiary sources synthesize and present overviews of primary and secondary sources.
Scholarly sources present sophisticated, researched arguments using both primary and secondary sources and are written by experts.
Popular sources aim to inform or entertain and are intended for a general, non-specialized audience. In academic writing, popular sources most often are analyzed as primary sources.
Need a quick review? Take the online tutorial, which includes a self-assessment quiz at the end.