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ENGR 409 - Acoustics: Scientific vs. Popular

In the research process: Scientific vs. Popular

This guide should help you:

  • Form an approach to initiating an assignment.
  • Use keywords related to your chosen acoustics topic.
  • Distinguish the differences between popular and scientific journal articles.
  • Explore the library's information resources.
  • Evaluate the information you are finding on your topic.  
  • Select appropriate sources to use for your assignment.  
  • Cite the journal articles in proper APA format.

Scientific vs. Popular

Primary Sources are articles that contain original research, or new research and findings.  They are marked in the sciences by containing the following sections:

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Materials & Methods
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion

For most of the research that you do, you will be both looking for *and* using primary sources.  Primary sources are indexed within academic databases - and we have lots of those for you to search through!  Use the "Find articles" tab to look over these and start searching!

Secondary Sources are articles that contain summaries or explanations of someone else's original research.  Secondary sources interpret and/or review primary sources - they do NOT contain original research.


Most of the time when you are doing research, you will *not* be looking for secondary sources.  However, some secondary sources are a nice summary of changes that have happened over time in a certain discipline or topic of study, so they can be useful in that way way.  We have lots of secondary sources in our "Find articles" tab within this guide.  Click on over and take a look!