LSAMP: Research in the Sciences

A Starting Place for LSAMP Scholars

Strategize: Different Info for Different Purposes

Understanding Different Source Types 

Reference book articles, or academic encyclopedias, are a great place to start. Go to reference for background knowledge, theoretical terms, an overview of the history of a subject or issues, key players - and leads to more information.

example of sources 
Read reference for:
  • background knowledge
  • theoretical terms
  • an overview of the history of a subject or issues
  • key players
  • leads to more information.
image of an encyclopedia book cover
Read books, book chapters, and essays in anthologies for:
  • in-depth analysis
  • history
  • opinion
  • theory
  • multiple perspectives
image of a book
Read newspaper articles for:
  • a daily account of events and issues on a local, regional, national or international scale
  • analysis of current issues
  • editorial and opinion pieces
  • business, environment and science news
image of newspapers
Read magazine articles for:
  • more in-depth discussion of current events and issues in the news
  • longer articles written for an interested audience in lay-person language on technology, health, science, business and more
  • illustrations: charts, pictures and graphs
magazine cover - bloomberg business week
View and listen to multimedia for:
  • documentaries on current science, engineering and business topics
  • informed discussion and analysis
  • case studies & personal accounts
  • background information
image of a video online
Read trade articles to learn about:
  • news briefs or overviews of current research and tools
  • current trends and updates in the profession
  • professional terminology
  • opinion on governmental policy, current issues, and more
  • professional development
  • to find leads to more information on your subject
professional journal: security management
Read scholarly articles and books to learn about:
  • current research
  • in-depth analysis
  • metareviews of the literature
  • professional terminology
  • find data, statistics, charts, and other factual information
  • to get a sense of the scope of the scholarly conversation on your subject
  • to find leads to more information on your subject
image of Chemical Engineering Journal cover
What else is there? 

The list above is not exhaustive. From tweets and blogposts to conference proceedings and reports, there is a wide world of information. 

Ask of each source: 

  • Is it reliable? If so, how do you know? What is the purpose of this information? What role will this play in your research?

Contextualize your information sources in the body of your essay, so it is clear to your reader how much weight they should place on each source.


Scholarly Literature

What is Scholarly literature?

Scholarly literature refers to journals and books of original research and analysis that further our knowledge in a field.

Scholarship is how academics and researchers stay current in their fields.

Scholarship is a conversation in which authors look for gaps in existing research and knowledge, and they build on, test, reinforce, and/ or refute existing scholarship on their topic.

Types of Scholarly Articles

Three types of scholarly article in physics.

A Research article reports on an original experiment or study that investigates a stated problem. The study is carefully controlled so that results are valid. Data is collected and analyzed. 

A Literature Review summarizes and analyzes the important articles on a topic. Literature reviews are a great resource for learning about the scope of research, question, issues and theories in a field. 

A Theoretical article is an article that presents a theoretical approach to a question or field. It draws on others' research to support the theory, rather than presenting new research and data.