What types of sources should I use for writing academic essays?
Credible sources are generally texts that can be trusted and authoritative. These would be texts with support in terms of reliable evidence (facts, data, statistics) and often referring to previous work by academic authors. The most common credible sources are scholarly journals, conference papers and books because these have been peer-reviewed (read and approved for publication by other authors). However, there are good websites that can be used; generally ending in .gov / .edu / .ac.
Primary and Secondary Sources
Two types of sources: Primary and Secondary. A primary source is the main source of evidence. This can be raw data, records and key facts. A secondary source draws on the primary data and analyses it.
Key questions to ask when evaluating source material
Is there an author? Date?
Is there evidence? Where is it from? Sourced?
Is there a reference list? And in-text referencing?
Generally, there shouldn’t be glossy pictures or advertising.
It should be written in an academic formal style and quite difficult to read.
Reading & Research Skills: What is a credible source?
This lesson highlights the key components of identifying credible and reliable resources. It includes a checklist on 20 different sources and students have to decide whether these are credible or not. Page link Level ***** [B1/B2] TEACHER MEMBERSHIP / INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP
Credible Sources: The Academic Journal Peer Review Process – NC State University
This NC State university video explains how an academic scholar submits a research paper to a journal publishing company and the full process the article goes through before it is published. This listening and worksheet helps students to understand what is considered a credible source and why. Example Level: ***** [B2/C1] / Video [03.15] / MP3 / Webpage link / TEACHER MEMBERSHIP / INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP
Here is a range of academic search engines to access academic papers, journals and other scholarly sources. Many classic academic databases like Web of Science and Scopus are subscription sites only. However, Google Scholar and others can be accessed free of charge and although not all resources are free, there are many articles which are open source.
- Google Scholar
For more information go here: https://paperpile.com/g/academic-search-engines/
More digital resources and lessons