Primary vs. Secondary Sources
Primary sources serve as a record of first-hand experience, including the collection and analysis of raw data. Just like diaries share an author's personal life, research articles describe the author's own studies or other work.
Secondary sources report, describe, or analyze someone else's original work. Books and articles that present overviews or summaries of previous research are usually secondary sources.
The Basics of Empirical Research
Look for these characteristics:
- Empirical studies are based on actual and objective observation or experimentation.
- Articles that describe empirical research studies are published in scholarly or academic journals.
- Many of these journals are peer-reviewed or refereed, meaning that experts in the field screen and review the articles prior to publication.
- Empirical articles usually have 5 main sections and include a list of references:
- review of the literature
- discussion and/or conclusion