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ENGL 1000 Freshman English I

Welcome to the Freshman English I research guide.

Scholarly vs. Popular Sources

When conducting research it is important to distinguish between journal articles and magazine articles. Journal articles are typically referred to as "scholarly," while magazine articles are usually considered "popular".

CriteriaScholarly JournalPopular Magazine
Example
Content In-depth, primary account of original findings written by the researcher(s); very specific information, with the goal of scholarly communication. Secondary discussion of someone else's research; may include personal narrative or opinion; general information, purpose is to entertain or inform.
Author Author's credentials are provided; usually a scholar or specialist with subject expertise. Author is frequently a journalist paid to write articles, may or may not have subject expertise.
Audience Scholars, researchers, and students. General public; the interested non-specialist.
Language Specialized terminology or jargon of the field; requires expertise in subject area. Vocabulary in general usage; easily understandable to most readers.
Graphics Graphs, charts, and tables; very few advertisements and photographs. Graphs, charts and tables; lots of glossy advertisements and photographs.
Layout & Organization Structured; includes the article abstract, goals and objectives, methodology, results (evidence), discussion, conclusion, and bibliography. Informal; may include non-standard formatting. May not present supporting evidence or a conclusion.
Accountability Articles are evaluated by peer-reviewers* or referees who are experts in the field; edited for content, format, and style. Articles are evaluated by editorial staff, not experts in the field; edited for format and style.
References Required. Quotes and facts are verifiable. Rare. Little, if any, information about source materials is given.
Other Examples Annals of Mathematics, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, History of Education Quarterly, Almost anything with Journal in the title.

Time, Newsweek, The Nation, The Economist

This is a modified version of a document created by Amy VanScoy at NCSU Libraries.

Start Here

ONEsearch searches all library information-- books, databases, etc.-- in one place!  This eliminates the need to search individual databases, and the question, "Which database do I search?" is now answered!ONEsearch

 

 

SWUcat is the library catalog, which searches for books within the library.

Encore is the new statewide shared catalog, replacing PASCALcat.  Encore searches for books and ebooks in colleges and universities in South Carolina. The classic catalog PASCALcat is still available here.

PASCALcat

Looking for a specific periodical or magazine?  Search our Journals A - Z.

A to Z

From Idea to Library

Where do research articles come from? How do they end up in your search results? This video has the answers.

From Idea to Library

This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States license.

VIDEO: Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources

Primary/Secondary/Tertiary Sources

Primary secondary tertiary

Primary sources include:

  • Accounts by an eyewitness or the first recorder of an event, in written or other form, including microform and electronic reproduction. Examples are diaries, autobiographies, letters, minutes of meetings, news footage, newspaper articles.
  • Data obtained through original research, statistical compilations or legal requirements. Examples are reports of scientific experiments, U. S. census records, public records.
  • Creative works such as poetry, music, or art
  • Artifacts such as arrowheads, pottery, furniture, and buildings.

Secondary sources are works that interpret the primary data, such as a book about eating disorders, a journal article about the role of tobacco in the colonial economy, or a critical review of a play.

Tertiary sources are works that compile, analyze, and digest secondary sources. General and specialized encyclopedias are familiar examples of tertiary sources.

Scholarly or not?

Links to Other Guides

Different Types of Information

 

When you do research, are you just skimming the surface?  How deep is your research?  You need to go deeper than Google or Wikipedia! 

CRAAP Test

Are your sources credible and useful, or are they a bunch of . . .?! 

The CRAAP Test is a rubric that helps you determine if the sources you found are accurate and reliable.  Keep in mind that the following list is not static or complete. Different criteria will be more or less important depending on your situation or need.

Key: * indicates criteria is for Web sources only

Currency: The timeliness of the information.

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out-of date for your topic?
  • Are the links functional? *
Relevance:The importance of the information for your needs.
  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?
Authority: The source of the information.
  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net *
Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the informational content.
  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem biased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?
Purpose: The reason the information exists.
  • What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?

View the Rickman Library rubric for evaluating sources, the CRAAP test.  View the Rickman Library Evaluating Sources PowerPoint.

This is a modified version of a document created by Sarah Blakeslee at Meriam Library, CSU Chico.

Test Your Knowledge

If your professor tells you to find a scholarly article on your topic, what would be the best place to look?

Test Your Knowledge
Google: 0 votes (0%)
SWUcat: 0 votes (0%)
ONEsearch: 4 votes (100%)
Total Votes: 4