As you begin to take notes using the Research Notes worksheet to keep your notes organized, you will also be keeping track of your sources. A source is anything you use to get your information, such as the Internet, CD-ROM, book, newspaper, magazine, personal interview, poll, photograph, map, video, DVD, etc. Guidelines will be given to you so you will know which types of sources are allowed in your research project. Often, teachers will limit the number of Internet resources allowed, because many Internet sources are unreliable, and because they want their students to learn to locate information using other sources.
There are two main types of resources: Primary and Secondary. Primary sources are not always available, but when they are, they can provide you with valuable first-hand information. You can read an actual newspaper printed on the day Lincoln was shot! You can listen to Martin Luther King deliver his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. You can also find photographs that depict actual battle scenes from the Viet Nam war. A careful search of the Internet will lead you in the right direction. There are also many books available which include Primary information.
Another form of Primary information is the personal interview. Use relatives, friends, and acquaintances to help you locate people who have “been there.” Holocaust survivors are not very common now, but imagine the possibilities an interview with the right person could present.
Secondary sources provide an interpretation of the information in primary sources. These include reference books, biographies, essays, and journal articles.
No matter what type of resource you use to find your information, you will need to make note of certain information which will identify the source. It is important that this information be written accurately, so that your Works Cited page (or Bibliography) will be done correctly.
The Works Cited pages can be used by the reader to verify information or to return to the source for additional information.
When taking down the information you will need for your sources, include the following, as available, omitting unnecessary information when you prepare your Works Cited page:
Author’s Last, First Name Date of Publication
Place of Publication
Pages Used (where you found your information)
URL (Internet address)
Date the website article was written
Date you got the information from the website
Title of Article Title of Book Editor’s Name Publisher
Type of Source (book, website, etc.)
The following are examples of how to use the Sources pages to record your resources:
A. Trumains, Howard. Our Hero—Our Legend. Dorfmann, KY: Farm Press,
B. Morton, Saul. “The Last Call.” People. 29 Nov. 2009: 87-89.
C. “Deep in the Heart.” 4 June 2008. <http://www.ourheroesremembered.net (Accessed 11/18/10.)