Your use of sources is a means of supporting the argument you make in your research paper.
The sources you reference need to be credible and authoritative. Check the following things to make sure you are using good, scholarly sources.
What is a Periodical? A periodical is any source that is published at regular intervals, such as daily, weekly, monthly, etc. They can be journals, magazines, newspapers, etc. Periodicals can be popular or scholarly in nature.
What is a Scholarly Periodical? It is an academic journal; a published work of a particular discipline or subject written by a scholar or person of expertise. Used for teaching, continual learning, and professional development. Generally called a journal.
What is a Popular Periodical? Sports, Hobbies, Lifestyle, etc. Appealing to or intended for the general public; liked by many people. Generally called a magazine.
Periodicals can also be located on databases and the web: these criteria may be applied to the online version of print periodicals, web-based electronic periodicals as well as the traditional print magazines and journals.
While using internet searches, such as Google, seem easier, it actually can make finding quality resources a lot harder.
Search engines are designed to produce as many results as possible, but often those results are irrelevant or from unreliable, irrelevant, or inaccessible sources. This means that you--the researcher-- will have to determine if each individual source is helpful and authoritative and then determine if and how you can access it. Search engines like Google are best when used primarily for defining terms and gaining basic knowledge of your topic before beginning to research.
Library Databases do a lot of the source evaluation for you. The only resources they contain have already been identified as reliable and authoritative, and the library pays for access, so you will always be able to get to what you need. You may not get as many results, but the quality of information you find will make your whole research project much easier.
Primary sources are first-hand descriptions of events. They are produced by people who were at the event or lived at that time.
Some primary sources are:
Secondary sources are descriptions, commentaries, interpretations, and evaluations of primary sources. Basically, if something is talking about a primary source, it is a secondary source.
For more information:
Santiago Canyon College Library: Primary and Secondary Sources Video
Santiago Canyon College: Identifying Primary and Secondary Resources
Databases are collections of resources that the library subscribes to. Each database is specifically designed to contain resources which are useful for a specific field of study. Databases can be accessed from on or off campus. Find a list of helpful databases in the subject guide for your class.
Reference books are designed for accessing specific facts or information and can take the form of indexes, dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, almanacs, directories, handbooks etc.Reference books cannot be checked-out from the library.
At BPCC Library, the reference section is located on the 1st floor of the Learning Commons.
You can use the scanner to copy the information you need. We recommend saving this to a flashdrive.
Scanners are free to use. There is one on the first floor and one in the tutoring center.
Save your image to a flash-drive or e-mail it to yourself.
Hard copies can be printed by logging on to a computer, accessing the file on your flash-drive or e-mail and using your free printing.
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