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Education Research (including Teacher Research ): Information Sources

Guide to resources for teacher research

Examples of information sources and some characteristics to consider

Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Handbooks

  • established information based on the work of subject experts
  • the information can be a little older - this may be a concern for fields such as medicine and technology

Scholarly Journals, Theses, and Dissertations

  • reports of original research and study made available to the scholarly community to advance the study of the discipline
  • usually reviewed by experts on the subject (peer reviewed)
  • often cutting edge, but not yet verified (at the time of publication)

Books

  • in depth look at a topic by an individual author (or small group of authors) or an edited volume with chapters by multiple authors
  • may contain a bias

Newspapers, Trade Journals, and Popular Magazines

  • reports of news relevant to the audience for the publication
  • a little removed from the original research, event, organization, etc.
  • may contain a bias and/or may not present a complete picture of the topic

Blogs, Wikis, and Websites

  • may contain useful information and/or links to useful information
  • may or may not be written by experts on the subject
  • may contain a bias and/or may not present a complete picture of the topic
  • may be trying to sell you some thing or some idea

Elements usually included in an article describing a research study:

  • Question(s) the researcher is trying to answer
  • Reasons why it is important to answer the question(s)
  • Review of the relevant literature to explain what is already understood or has already been studied on this topic
  • Research method used in this study
  • Results of this study
  • Conclusions that can be made based on the results of this study
  • Any limitations of this study
  • Recommendations of possible areas for additional research
  • References

Primary and Secondary Sources

Secondary sources describe or analyze or report on primary sources.  Although these terms are relative, the following examples might be helpful:

Primary sources can be letters, research results, works of art, speeches, patents, and original manuscripts and documents.

Secondary sources can be encyclopedia entries, book reviews, news articles, and reports.

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