Research and Citations

One of the goals of the course is to help you develop research and citation skills as well as a broader familiarity with the kinds of texts and publications produced within your discipline and profession. While a site like Wikipedia or a search engine like Google might help us start identifying relevant sources, we’ll need to turn to different sites and databases in order to locate certain types of sources.

Scholarly Sources

The most helpful databases for these sources will be JStor and Academic Search Complete (available through the library) and then Google Scholar. Note that JStor can help you locate specific journals relevant to your field. While not all professionals are academics (i.e., you can be an accountant without regularly reading The Accounting Review), academic journals can help us get a sense for some of the main questions and issues within a given field as well as a sense for how knowledge gets produced.

Professional Sources

Some fields and professions have publications (journals, newsletters, blogs, etc.) that address news and issues relevant to members of the profession. For example, The Chronicle of Higher Education (CHE) isn’t an academic journal, but it is a publication with relevant news and commentary for academics. Try to locate relevant professional organizations and their publications through your research.

Practical Sources

Here I have in mind texts that get produced within the practical world of the profession itself. These texts could include corporate documents, professional reports, and correspondence and other informal documents produced within a company. You might be able to locate examples of these texts online, and you might also be able to request samples of these sorts of documents from relevant sources.


Keep in mind that incorporating research into your papers will involve correctly citing your sources. For help with citations, you can consult the Purdue Online Writing Lab and NoodleBib (see “NoodleTools Citation Tool”). If you are interested in using a web-based tool for keeping track of sources and links and for helping with bibliographies, check out Zotero.