Academic Writing in English-Different Types Of Sources

Supply and guide

The foundation may be the text or other work that provides the details that is getting used (whereas the real reference to the supply this is certainly getting used is known as 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 speaking about the function that is actual of guide into the written text, nevertheless, it might be beneficial to differentiate amongst the terms ‘source’ and ‘reference’.

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

Into the following two examples, the sources which have been utilized are identified, along with the recommendations which can be provided.

The very first extract comes from the seminar paper in the area of Theology and Religious Studies. The guide offered the following is by means of a way up to a biblical passage, additionally the source (that is, where in fact the passage quoted will be discovered), could be the brand brand New Testament Book of Matthew.

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

The second instance comes from a Master’s degree dissertation in Computer Science about structured assessment processes. Within the extract below, the guide is “Boehm (1976)”, and also the supply is just a specific log article, written by Boehm and posted in 1976, the total details of that are offered within the directory of references.

In lots of projects, testing-related costs count for approximately 50per cent of this software development cost that is total. Boehm (1976) argues why these big expenses stem from launching evaluation far too late along the way, and that these expenses could possibly be lessened if your problem might be detected and fixed during the stage that is same it is introduced. This praxis needs good planning and a test plan that is structured.

So that you can make use of sources efficiently as well as in a manner that is correct authors should be in a position to recognize the type of each and every supply together with basis for utilizing it. By making clear to themselves what type of use they generate of various forms of sources, authors should be able to distinguish between their very own share and also the argument expressed by the sources which are getting used.

It must be noted that the distinctions which are made below may be much more significant in a few areas compared to other people. Pupils are encouraged to talk about the utilization of sources using their supervisors along with the collection staff at their departmental library. Note, however, that most authors have to be conscious of the significance of originality, into the feeling of first-hand outcomes, in scholarly writing.

How to choose sources

One of several main learning results of college studies may be the power to evaluate information. When writing, students train their capability to choose whether a supply is suitable and exactly how to utilize it.

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

Popular scholarly publication types ( click to expand/contract)

Research writing is posted in a variety of types. Some traditional forms of magazines are right here. According to control, some publications kinds are far more typical and appropriate than the others.

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

Conference procedures

The quantity of documents that are posted regarding the seminars is oftentimes known as procedures. This type of publication often comprises of articles in line with the plenary lectures as well as on a chosen quantity of participating documents.

Journal article

A write-up is a text that’s been posted in a log (periodical), newspaper or magazine. You will find different varieties of scholarly articles; apart from original essays (articles that present brand brand brand new, initial, research), you will find review articles, letters and editorials, for example. Original essays may be split into, as an example, methodological articles, theoretical articles and instance studies. For more info about different varieties of articles, begin to see the AWELU section called

A monograph is just a text (frequently book-length, but is also a long article) that treats one subject that is specific.


A periodical is a log this is certainly posted frequently (sporadically = ‘at regular periods’). The terms ‘journal’ and ‘periodical’ tend to be utilized synonymously.

Thesis / Dissertation

A thesis (dissertation) is a comprehensive research paper this is certainly written as partial fulfilment of a educational level. The abbreviations ‘Diss.’ or ‘Unpubl in reference styles. Diss.’ enables you to recognize dissertations within the guide list, unless they’ve been posted in guide kind by a publishing business or university press.

Remember that reference style manuals that are most have already been posted in america and so make use of the American English ‘dissertation’ for ‘doctoral dissertation,’ whereas the phrase ‘thesis’ or ‘doctoral thesis’ is more typical in Uk English. Read more about this in

Additional terms associated with book kinds:

Annotated version

The phrase annotation in ‘annotated version’ indicates that the written text happens to be supplied with explanatory records, remarks or other types of additional product. This is certainly 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 name.

Editions / Reprints

Functions may go through a few editions and reprints. If it’s reprinted, unless stated otherwise, no changes are created to the writing it self, but an extra (3rd, etc.) version will suggest that the written text happens to be updated or elsewhere changed.

Main, secondary and tertiary sources

Sources could be split into three kinds, based on their proximity towards the subject of research:

Primary sources

A main supply is normally a document or outcome that is being reported very first hand. Or in other words, main sources are initial sources, perhaps perhaps not interpretations created by somebody else.

The next often work as primary sources:

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

Additional sources

Additional sources value, discuss or comment regarding the main supply, or on sources analogous to your main supply this is certainly being analysed.

Listed here are samples of such additional sources:

  • research articles
  • biographies
  • monographs

Tertiary sources

A tertiary supply is a supply that summarises or compiles facts and knowledge made by another person. Tertiary sources in many cases are some type of assemblage of main and sources that are secondary. These are generally convenient for fast access to summarised facts, yet not all sources that are part of this category are thought suited to scholarly writing. By way of example, most commonly it is perhaps maybe maybe not appropriate to make use of compilations of facts rather than reading the initial sources. Consequently, pupils composing essays are recommended to consult their instructors regarding the suitability of utilizing tertiary sources within their writing.

Sources that might 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 maybe maybe not a hard and fast one. As an example, within an analysis of a encyclopaedic article, that text could be considered to be a main source, as well as in overview of a scholarly monograph, the writing under scrutiny is viewed as a primary supply, even though it could be used as additional supply product under other circumstances.

Types of sources found in various procedures

Example: Bachelor’s degree project in English ( simply click to expand/contract)

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

The principal supply with this research was the novel itself, as well as the secondary sources contained critical studies on post-colonialism and on the ideas of ‘race’ and essay writing ‘otherness,’ and of articles talking about the novel that is particular.

  • 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 ( simply 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 pair of interviews and team conversations carried out on location in Jordan, plus the additional product consisted of studies on main problems particularly water need and water management, as an example, as well as on facets of development and sex.

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