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The Library: Research and Citations

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Modern Language Association (MLA)

From Purdue Online Writing Lab

From Purdue Online Writing Lab

Video Created by Mr. Smidl, Grant HS Librarian


American Psychological Association (APA)

APA is used in a specific community for research, and focuses primarily in the social sciences.  If you are looking at a specific career, you'll be required to write in APA.

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Economics
  • Criminology
  • Education
  • Linguistics
  • Journalism
  • International Studies
  • Business

From Purdue Online Writing Lab

From Purdue Online Writing Lab


Types of Research Sources

Primary sources are original artifacts or documents. They offer firsthand accounts from the given author or individuals directly involved in an event. 

  • Diaries and literary memoirs

  • Letters/ Correspondence

  • Visual Artistic works (photographs, paintings, sculptures, cartoons, etc.)

  • Written Artistic works (poems, songs, music, etc. )

  • News segments/transcripts

  • Speeches

  • Interviews

  • Editorials

  • Legal documents and Statistics (Government records)

From University Library of UIUC

Secondary sources are documents written after an event has occurred, providing secondhand accounts of that event, person, or topic. Unlike primary sources, which provide first-hand accounts, secondary sources offer different perspectives, analysis, and conclusions of those accounts.

  • Journal, news, and magazine articles
  • News reports
  • Encyclopedias
  • Textbooks
  • Books‚Äč

From University Library of UIUC

Tertiary Sources provide overviews of topics gathered from other primary and secondary resources. Another clue is that secondary sources are almost always written by experts, but tertiary sources may be written by staff writers who have an interest in the topic but are not scholars on the subject. Many tertiary sources could be considered secondary sources.

  • Dictionaries
  • Encyclopedia
  • Almanac
  • Bibliographies
  • Chronologies
  • Directories
  • Fact books
  • Guidebooks
  • Manuals
  • Textbooks

From University Libraries at Virginia Tech