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HIST 102 - History of the United States Since 1865 - Mo

This guide will help you with your research assignment for Eva Mo's History 102 course

Is It an Academic Journal?

Your instructor may require that you use scholarly articles in your research. These articles are also known as academic, or peer-reviewed articles. What she is asking you to use are journals that contain articles written by scholars in order to develop the body of knowledge in the subject areas in which they specialize.

This video clip from The Peabody Library will help you identify scholarly sources so that if your instructor requires you to use only scholarly sources, you'll know what she is talking about.

Understanding How Sources Work for Your Paper

Each type of source plays a part in your research. The popular websites, specialized encyclopedias, newspaper, and magazines help you build the foundation of your understanding before you're ready to move on to the scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals.

To craft a rich, fully-developed paper or project, you'll want to explore your topic using all of these different types of sources.

Know the Difference Between Popular, Substantive, and Scholarly Sources

Unless otherwise instructed by your teacher, you'll probably want to use a variety sources to help you gain a complete understanding of your topic. Sources of information generally fall within three categories.These categories are  Popular, Substantive, and Scholarly (or Peer Reviewed). To use them skillfully you need to be able to identify them and understand their differences.

Types of Information image


Use Credible Sources

Finding information today is easy; it's all around you. Making sure the information you find is reliable can be a challenge.

When you use Google or any social media to get your information how do you know it can be trusted? How do you know it's not biased?

You can feel pretty confident that books you get from the library and articles you find in the library's databases are reliable because someone or some group has checked all the facts and arguments the author made before publishing them. You still have to think about whether or not the book or article is current and suitable for your project but you can feel confident that it is a trustworthy source.

Make sure each and every source you plan on using in your paper or research assignment passes the CRAAP test.


Evaluate your sources: The CRAAP Test

Watch the brief video below to see how this works.