What are Academic Sources?

What are Academic Sources?

Scholarly sources, also called academic sources, are written by experts in their field. They are backed up by evidence and based on the most recent research.

As a student, you should try to find scholarly sources for your research and write in the same way that scholars do. This means you have to know how to:

Tell the difference between the different kinds of sources.
Also, find information to use in your research.
Think about how relevant and reliable sources are.
Use sources in your text and give credit to them the right way.
With these skills, you’ll be able to back up your research with reliable and useful information and give credit to the scholars whose work you use.

What is an academic source?

Scholarly sources are written by experts and are meant to help people learn more about a certain subject.

They are used for many things, such as:

Getting the word out about new research.
Also, contributing to a field’s theoretical foundations.
Trends in current research are summed up.
Scholarly sources are written for people who already know about the subject, so they use formal and technical language.

They ought to:

Goal: to teach or tell.
Use proof to back up their claims and conclusions.
Be credited to a certain author or authors and show their academic credentials.

They mustn’t:

Give an opinion that isn’t unbiased.
have spelling or grammar mistakes.
Count on making emotional appeals.
Scholarly sources should be well organised and give details about how the research they describe was done. They may also have a review of the literature. When they use information from other sources, they give formal citations.

Most academic books are put out by university presses or other academic publishers. Most of the time, scholarly articles are longer than popular articles. They are usually published in journals that are specific to a field and reviewed by experts in that field.

Different Academic Sources

When writing for school, different kinds of sources are used. At different points in the research process, different sources may become useful.

Sources that are often used in academic writing are:

Academic journals.
Books for scholars.
Depending on the topic and method of your research, each of these sources fits into one of three groups:

Primary sources give you direct information about your topic (e.g., a diary entry from a historical figure).
Secondary sources explain or comment on what the primary sources say (e.g., an academic book).
Tertiary sources summarise or put together information from primary and secondary sources, but they don’t add anything new (e.g., a bibliography).
Tertiary sources are not usually cited in academic writing, but they can be used to learn more about a subject.

Talk to your teacher if you don’t know what kinds of sources are relevant to your topic.

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