Academic Writing in English-Different Types Of Sources

Academic Writing in English-Different Types Of Sources

Reference and source

The foundation could be the text or other work that delivers the info that is getting used (whereas the mention that is actual of supply this is certainly getting used is named a guide). These terms are synonymous; in several reference styles, the list of sources used in an academic text are called ‘References,’ for instance to some extent.

Whenever talking about the function that is actual of guide within the written text, but, it may possibly be helpful to distinguish amongst the terms ‘source’ and ‘reference’.

Example: Difference between supply and reference ( simply click to expand/contract)

Into the following two examples, the sources which were used are identified, plus the sources which can be supplied.

The very first extract comes from the meeting paper in neuro-scientific Theology and Religious Studies. The guide offered let me reveal in the shape of a way to a passage that is biblical together with source (that is, where in actuality the passage quoted will be discovered), could be the brand brand New Testament Book of Matthew.

At the start of each one of the four Gospels we meet a guy whom challenges us to have baptized: John the Baptist. Within the Gospel of Matthew he cries away: “Repent! The kingdom of paradise is near” (Matth. 3:2).

The 2nd instance comes from the Master’s degree dissertation in Computer Science about structured assessment processes. Into the extract below, the guide is “Boehm (1976)”, therefore the supply is really a particular log article, published by Boehm and posted in 1976, the total information on that are offered within the set of recommendations.

In several projects, testing-related expenses count for approximately 50per cent associated with software development cost that is total. Boehm (1976) contends why these big expenses stem from launching evaluating far too late in the act, and that these expenses might be lessened in cases where a problem might be detected and fixed during the exact same phase as it really is introduced. This praxis needs good planning and a test plan that is structured.

So that you can make use of sources effortlessly plus in a manner that is correct article writers must certanly be in a position to recognize the type of each and every supply and also the reason behind deploying it. By making clear to themselves what sort of use they make of various kinds of sources, authors will be able to differentiate between their contribution that is own and argument expressed by the sources being getting used.

It ought to be noted that the distinctions which are made below may be much more important in a few areas compared to other people. Pupils are encouraged to talk about the usage of sources with regards to supervisors along with the collection staff at their departmental library. Note, however, that every article writers have to be conscious of the necessity of originality, within the feeling of first-hand outcomes, in scholarly writing.

How to choose sources

Among the main learning results of college studies may be the capacity to assess information. When writing, students train their capability to determine whether a supply is suitable and exactly how to utilize it.

The University Library is just a resource that is valuable pupils looking for assistance regarding the selection of sources:

Popular scholarly publication kinds ( click to expand/contract)

Research writing is posted in several kinds. Some typically common forms of magazines are right here. According to control, some magazines kinds are far more relevant and common than the others.

An anthology is an accumulation of texts ( or any other created works) on a certain subject that are published (or else presented) together.

Conference procedures

The amount of documents that are posted associated with seminars is usually described as procedures. This kind of publication frequently is made of articles on the basis of the plenary lectures and on a number that is selected of documents.

Journal article

A write-up is a text that is posted in a log (periodical), mag or paper. You can find different types of scholarly articles; apart from original essays (articles that current brand new, initial, research), you can find review articles, letters and editorials, for example. Original essays is split into, as an example, methodological articles, theoretical articles and situation studies. For more information about different varieties of articles, start to see the AWELU section called

A monograph is just a text (frequently book-length, but may be a long article) that treats one certain topic.


A periodical is a log that is posted frequently (sporadically = ‘at regular periods’). The terms ‘journal’ and ‘periodical’ in many cases are utilized synonymously.

Thesis / Dissertation

A thesis (dissertation) is a comprehensive research paper this is certainly written as partial fulfilment of a scholastic level. In guide designs, the abbreviations ‘Diss.’ or ‘Unpubl. Diss.’ could be used to recognize dissertations into the guide list, unless they are posted in guide type by a publishing university or company press.

Observe that many reference design manuals have now been posted in america and so utilize the American English ‘dissertation’ for ‘doctoral dissertation,’ whereas your message ‘thesis’ or ‘doctoral thesis’ is more typical in Uk English. Read more about this in

Extra terms associated with book types:

Annotated version

Your message annotation in ‘annotated version’ indicates that the written text was given explanatory records, responses or other types of additional product. This will be typical in republications of old texts, by way of example. In the event that text is annotated, this is suggested when you look at the title.

Editions / Reprints

Functions might go through a few editions and reprints. In case it is reprinted, unless stated otherwise, no modifications are created to the written text it self, but an additional (3rd, etc.) version will suggest that the written text happens to be updated or elsewhere changed.

Primary, secondary and tertiary sources

Sources is split into three kinds, based on their proximity towards the topic of research:

Main sources

A main source is generally a document or outcome that is being reported hand that is first. This means that, primary sources are initial sources, maybe perhaps not interpretations created by some other person.

The next usually work as primary sources:

  • works of fiction
  • diaries
  • interviews
  • official documents, such as for example census information and appropriate texts
  • things, such as for instance archaeological findings
  • numeric information
  • corpora

Additional sources

Additional sources value, discuss or comment regarding the source that is primary or on sources analogous towards the main supply that is being analysed.

Listed below are samples of such additional sources:

  • research articles
  • biographies
  • monographs

Tertiary sources

A tertiary source is a supply that summarises or compiles facts and knowledge made by somebody else. Tertiary sources tend to be some sort of assemblage of main and sources that are secondary. These are generally convenient for fast access to summarised facts, although not all sources that are part of this category are thought suitable for scholarly writing. For example, it will always be perhaps perhaps not appropriate to utilize compilations of facts rather than reading the sources that are original. Consequently, pupils essays that are writing recommended to consult their teachers regarding the suitability of employing tertiary sources within their writing.

Sources that could be thought to be tertiary sources consist of:

  • textbooks
  • study gu >A note of care

It ought to be noted that the difference between main, additional and sources that are tertiary perhaps maybe not a hard and fast one. For example, within an analysis of a encyclopaedic article, that text could be thought to be a main source, plus in overview of a scholarly monograph, the writing under scrutiny could be regarded as a main supply, even though it will be utilized as additional supply product under other circumstances.

Samples of sources found in various procedures

Example: Bachelor’s level task in English ( simply click to expand/contract)

On her behalf bachelor’s level task in English Literature (Faculty of Humanities), a learning pupil studied the notion of ‘otherness’ in Nadeem Aslam’s novel Maps for Lost Lovers.

The main supply with this research had been the novel it self, additionally the additional sources contains critical studies on post-colonialism as well as on the principles of ‘race’ and ‘otherness,’ and of articles speaking about the specific novel.

  • Bengtsson, M. (2008) Visualising otherness in Maps for Lost Lovers by Nadeem Aslam: Discussing othering in and through Literature (Bachelor level task). Lund University. Access degree essay (PDF)

Example: Master’s degree dissertation in Overseas developing and Management ( click to expand/contract)

In a master’s degree thesis in Overseas developing and Management (Faculty of Social Sciences), the main focus ended up being on water administration in Jordan.

The main sources because of this research contained a set of interviews and group talks carried out on site in Jordan, therefore the material that is secondary of studies on main dilemmas such as for example water need and water administration, by way of example, as well as on areas of development and sex.

  • Ellefsen, A. & Kolic, H. (2010). Allow it to rain: an incident research of community-based water management and rainwater harvesting in Bayoudah, Jordan. (Master thesis). Lund University, Lund. Access via LUP