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Using Academic Sources

This is a companion guide to "Finding Academic Sources". Its goal is to make student researchers more comfortable with using scholarly material in their own research.

Tapping into the scholarly conversation through the reference list

As you saw in the Anatomy of a Scholarly Article, most academic sources include a References section citing the previous scholarship mentioned in the text. The Reference list demonstrates how scholarship is a conversation.  An author's work responds to and builds on the work of other scholars, and the References section acknowledges how previous scholarly work has shaped the author's own.  It also allows readers (us) to track down the work/voices of other scholars in the conversation.

Please look at the video below for an example of how to track a reference to its source.


Please respond to the reflection prompt below:

After watching the video, think about and write down two reasons you might want to mine a list of references for other, related sources.