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Research Help: Research Help

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The internet is an ocean of data, with few rules about what can be uploaded. How do you tell trustworthy information from misinformation or disinformation?

Research Guides


Research also has its own set of specific terms (or "jargon") that can be confusing at first. Below are those terms and their definitions.


Abstract - An introduction to a scholarly article. This covers the main points of research, methods, and conclusions. These provide a fantastic overview of the language used in the article and tell readers if the article will fit their research question.

Annotate/Annotation/Annotated - Often followed by the word "bibliography" (see below), all of these mean "to add notes with context" to the citations you provide. Basically, you're going to be adding a brief overview to the source.

Bibliography - Used in CHICAGO style citation, this is the title of the page that appears at the end of a research paper listing all sources used.

Citation - Providing a source for a direct or indirect quote, paraphrase, or mention of a source's material.

Peer Reviewed - often used in conjunction with "scholarly" when referring to sources, this term means that the article, chapter, or book has been reviewed by someone else of similar credentials as the author (a peer) and proven to be accurate. Find more information here.

Primary Source - An original work; something a researcher examines first-hand. Examples include diaries, interviews, eyewitness accounts, lab studies, etc.

Reference List - The APA style citation page that appears at the end of a research paper with a complete list of sources used.

Secondary Source - Works that interpret or discuss primary sources. Examples include scholarly books and articles, reviews, and biographies.

Source - A body of work used to support the writer's conclusions.

Works Cited - The MLA style citation page at the end of a research paper listing all sources used.

Other CMC Resources

Associate Dean of Library Services