- Explain the difference between popular and scholarly articles.
- Use different types of information appropriately in a research paper.
- Define literature review.
- Find articles for your literature review.
- Types of sources: Popular & scholarly articles.
- Types of evidence: Primary, secondary, tertiary sources.
- Defining literature review.
- Generating keywords.
- Searching DBs
- APA references
Types of sources
Primary, secondary, and tertiary information
Definition: Like an annotated bibliography, a literature review is a paper or section of a paper that reviews what's already been published on your research topic.
Unlike an annotated bibliography, a literature review is written in a standard paper format, with citations grouped together on the last page.
Literature review: a scholarly conversation
Some people think of literature review as being like a party where there are lots of conversations happening at once.
Here's a 2-minute video illustrating this metaphor:
Your literature review is an overview of all the conversations going on at the party, highlighting where guests agree and disagree, and what questions are still unanswered.
Parts of a research article
In general, the parts of a primary research article should include:
- Abstract: Summary of the research question and findings.
- Introduction: Overview of the context of the research question, including literature review.
- Materials/Methods: Description of the method used to collect data.
- Results: Analysis of data and outcomes of the study.
- Discussion: Description of how the results answer or don't answer the research question.
- Conclusion: Summary, significance of research.
- References: Research papers and other information sources that were referenced in the article, most prominently in the Introduction/Literature review.
Typically these sections are usually called out with headings throughout the article.
Look for these sections in the article above to help you understand the information and its purpose in each section.
Still lost? Find help from a librarian in the Learning Commons.
Before they can be published, research articles often go through a rigorous refinement process called peer-review.