Research and Citation Resources
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These OWL resources will help you conduct research using primary source methods, such as interviews and observations, and secondary source methods, such as books, journals, and the Internet. This area also includes materials on evaluating research sources.
These OWL resources will help you use the research you have conducted in your documents. This area includes material on quoting and paraphrasing your research sources, as well as material on how to avoid plagiarism.
These OWL resources will help you learn how to use the American Psychological Association (APA) citation and format style. This section contains resources on in-text citation and the References page, as well as APA sample papers, slide presentations, and the APA classroom poster.
These OWL resources will help you learn how to use the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation and format style. This section contains resources on in-text citation and the Works Cited page, as well as MLA sample papers, slide presentations, and the MLA classroom poster
Chicago Manual of Style
This section contains information on the Chicago Manual of Style method of document formatting and citation. These resources follow the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, which was issued in September 2010.
American Medical Association (AMA) Style
These resources provide guidance on how to cite sources using American Medical Association (AMA) Style, 10th Ed., including examples for print and electronic sources.
Level: Elementary school, Middle school
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A high-quality research project involves the use and analyzation of other, outside sources, and connecting them to the thesis or argument. These other sources are generally primary and secondary sources. There are numerous places to find both types of sources and there are benefits to including both in a research assignment.
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Primary sources are original pieces of work. We use primary sources to help us learn about an event, topic, or historical time period. Primary sources include:
- diary entries
- original photographs
- newspaper articles that are published directly after an event
- ….and many more
Primary sources require students to develop their own analysis and argument since the primary source doesn’t include an evaluation from others.
An example of a primary source is The Treaty of Versailles, which was an important document that brought World War I to an end. It is considered a primary source because it is a raw document that students themselves can interpret, critique, and analyze. Other examples of primary sources include Anne Frank’s Diary, The Declaration of Independence, Martin Luther King Jr’s I Have a Dream speech, and Leonardo DaVinci’s Mona Lisa painting.
Secondary sources interpret, critique, or analyze primary sources. Creators of secondary sources look at primary sources, develop meaning from them, and create their own analysis of the primary source. Secondary sources can include:
- newspaper articles that analyze or discuss older events/ideas
- comments on blogs and articles
Students should include secondary sources in their research projects as these sources provide evidence to strengthen their own argument and helps them learn about different perspectives.
An example of a secondary source is the book titled, The Treaty of Versaille: A Concise History, by Michael S. Neiberg. In this book, the author analyzes the entire treaty, piece by piece, and evaluates how the treaty affected the world after its establishment. Another example of a secondary source is the website, Rotten Tomatoes, which provides reviews of films and movies.
This video, Primary and Secondary Sources, provides students with
- an introduction to both terms and what they mean
- examples of each source type
- reasons as to why it’s important to use both types of sources in research projects
Share this video with your students to help them understand the difference between these two types of sources and the reasons as to why they should be used in their research assignments.
Need help citing your primary and secondary sources? Check out EasyBib.com which allows you to cite your sources, using our automatic citation generator. Our MLA format citation guide and APA citation guide both explain how to manually format and cite all of your primary and secondary sources.