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A teaching guide for research

Identify your Resources

  • What is a database?
  • What databases are available to me?
  • What is a scholarly journal article, and how do I find one?
  • What does peer-review mean?
  • Should I look for a book, or use an ebook?

This is a DATABASE?!?

Scholarly vs Popular Article

What is a Primary Resource?

A primary source is a document or physical object which was written or created during the time under study. These sources were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event.

Some types of primary sources include:

ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS (excerpts or translations acceptable): Diaries, speeches, manuscripts, letters, interviews, news film footage, autobiographies, official records 
CREATIVE WORKS: Poetry, drama, novels, music, art 
RELICS OR ARTIFACTS: Pottery, furniture, clothing, buildings

Using (and Finding) Primary Sources on the Web

Examples of primary sources include:

Diary of Anne Frank - Experiences of a Jewish family during WWII 
The Constitution of Canada - Canadian History 
A journal article reporting NEW research or findings 
Plato's Republic - Women in Ancient Greece 

Testimony on the Gassing at Auschwitz

The Persecution of the Jews

THIS is an Academic Database

Examples of Scholarly and Popular Articles

You can find some examples of scholarly vs popular journals here, and below:

Scholarly Journal Articles about vaccines

When Vaccine Misconceptions Jeopardize Public Health from the Journal of Family Practice

Toward a Human Vaccines Project from Nature Immunology


Popular Magazine Articles about vaccines

The Real Vaccine Scandal from Maclean's

There's a Shot for That from Discover

What is a Secondary Resource?

A secondary source interprets and analyzes primary sources. These sources are one or more steps removed from the event. Secondary sources may have pictures, quotes or graphics of primary sources in them.

Some types of secondary sources include:

PUBLICATIONS: Textbooks, magazine and journal articles, histories, criticisms, commentaries, encyclopedias 

Examples of secondary sources include:

A journal/magazine article which interprets or reviews previous findings 
A history textbook 
A book about the effects of WWI 

Beyond the Auschwitz Syndrome

The Fruits of World War