Generally, they are written by qualified people in the academic community for other people in the academic community (like … Scholarly Journals Trade Publications News and Popular Magazines Academic Reference Books; Purpose: Original research or arguments that contribute to scholarly debate. Written for consumer groups and the, Specialized vocabulary, but with definitions or explanations provided. Academic books generally fall into three categories: (1) textbooks written with students in mind, (2) monographs which give an extended report on a large research project, and (3) edited volumes in which each chapter is authored by different people. Conduct some research on the person or organization who published the source. Thus, Tier 2 sources can provide quality information that is more accessible to non-academics. Popular periodicals come in many formats, although often slick and attractive in appearance with lots of color graphics (photographs, drawings, etc.). Why is it that even the most informative Wikipedia articles are still often considered illegitimate? Who are the experts writing, reviewing, and editing these scholarly publications? TYPE II: Substantive News or General Interest, Tier 1: Peer-reviewed academic publications, Tier 2: Reports, articles and books from credible non-academic sources, Tier 3. Academic Sources for Essays . Scholarly or peer-reviewed journal articles are written by scholars or professionals who are experts in their fields. There are three main categories. These publications do not cite sources in a bibliography. The better the source, the more supported your paper will be. Above all, follow your professor’s guidelines for choosing sources. : Practical information for members of a profession, industry, or organization: news, trends, products, research summaries. Tier 1: Peer-reviewed academic publications, Tier 2: Reports, articles, and books from credible non-academic sources, Tier 3. A tidbit about a medical research finding written by someone with a science background carries more weight than the same topic written by a policy analyst. These sources are sometimes uncertain, which is all the more reason to follow the trail to a Tier 1 or Tier 2 source whenever possible.

Publishers Books published by a University Press are likely to be scholarly. You may need this background information when you start searching for more scholarly sources later on. Your instructors, librarians, or writing center consultants can advise you on which sources in this category have the most credibility.

Articles are written by a scholar in the field or by someone who has done research in the field. Based on what you already know or what you can find from Tier 4 sources like Wikipedia, start a list of the people, organizations, sources, and keywords that seem most relevant to your topic. They don’t take extensive research and analysis to write, and many just summarize a press release written and distributed by an organization or business. These reviewers must agree that the article represents properly conducted original research or writing before it can be published. Short pieces from periodicals or credible websites, Tier 4. These are sources from the mainstream academic literature: books and scholarly articles. First, official reports from government agencies or major international institutions like the World Bank or the United Nations; these institutions generally have research departments staffed with qualified experts who seek to provide rigorous, even-handed information to decision-makers. Unless otherwise noted, LibreTexts content is licensed by CC BY-NC-SA 3.0. It doesn’t matter how well supported or well written your paper is if you don’t cite your sources! Large number of advertisements for a wide variety of products that appeal to the target population. The affiliations of the authors are listed, usually at the bottom of the first page or at the end of the article–universities, research institutions, think tanks, and the like.

You may want to cite Tier 3 sources in your paper if they provide an important factoid or two that isn’t provided by a higher-tier piece, but if the Tier 3 article describes a particular study or academic expert, your best bet is to find the journal article or book it is reporting on and use that Tier 1 source instead. Second, feature articles from major newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, London Times, or The Economist are based on original reporting by experienced journalists (not press releases) and are typically 1500+ words in length. Sometimes you can find the original journal article by putting the author’s name into a library database. Specialized vocabulary or jargon. The table below summarizes types of secondary sources in four tiers. The language of scholarly journals is that of the discipline covered. Provide strong evidence for claims and references to other high-quality sources, Academic article databases from the library’s website, Reports, articles, and books from credible non-academic sources, Well researched and even-handed descriptions of an event or state of the world, Initial research on events or trends not yet analyzed in the academic literature; may reference important Tier 1 sources, Websites of relevant government/nonprofit agencies or academic article databases from the library’s website, Short pieces from newspapers or credible websites, Simple reporting of events, research findings, or policy changes, Often point to useful Tier 2 or Tier 1 sources, may provide a factoid or two not found anywhere else, Strategic Google searches or article databases including newspapers and magazines, Mostly opinion, varying in thoughtfulness and credibility, May represent a particular position within a debate; more often provide keywords and clues about higher quality sources.