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How to Research: Home

Key Definitions

Peer-Reviewed

  1. Written by an expert (has at least a master's degree)
  2. Topic is within their field
  3. Written for other experts
  4. Before publication, article is reviewed by other experts

Scholarly

  1. Written by an expert (has at least a master's degree)
  2. Topic is within their field
  3. Written for other experts

Credible

  1. Written by an expert (has at least a master's degree)
  2. Topic is within their field

Reputable

  1. Written by a journalist
  2. Published in a trustworthy news outlet

Primary Source

According to the Society of American Archivists, a primary source is “material that contains firsthand accounts of events and that was created contemporaneous to those events or later recalled by an eyewitness.”

"Primary sources emphasize the lack of intermediaries between the thing or events being studied and reports of those things or events based on the belief that firsthand accounts are more accurate.

Examples of primary sources include letters and diaries; government, church, and business records; oral histories; photographs, motion pictures, and videos; maps and land records; and blueprints.

Newspaper articles contemporaneous with the events described are traditionally considered primary sources, although the reporter may have compiled the story from witnesses, rather than being an eyewitness.

Artifacts and specimens may also be primary evidence if they are the object of study."

Begin Your Research

Remember to start researching early to give yourself time to find trustworthy sources and have books from other campuses delivered to you. At any time during the researching process, feel free to ask a librarian for help and guidance.

Find a source you want to use? Don't forget to get its citation!

Researching Steps

  1. Define your topic
  2. Understand your topic
  3. Make a search strategy
  4. Find scholarly sources
  5. Know your sources
  6. Evaluating your sources
  7. Cite your sources and format your paper