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EDUC 281: Conceptual Foundations of Elementary Mathematics I

About this guide

This guide will help you find appropriate sources for your written reports in EDUC 281 - specifically, professional journal articles for mathematics instructors. On each page you will find useful guidance and resources that will help you meet the requirements of the assignment.

If you need help with library search tools and resources, just click on the Research Help tab. For other questions about your assignments, consult with your professor.

What type of information?

Understanding the different types of information sources, and the purposes of each, can help you determine whether you should use the information for a research paper.  The formats generally fall within 3 main categories: Popular, Trade/Professional and Scholarly. Review the chart below to understand the features of each.

Identifying popular, trade & scholarly sources

Source type Author(s) Format Language/vocabulary Graphics Audience
Popular Sometimes identified; often a journalist No prescribed format; Length varies Uses everyday language Graphics/photos designed to draw interest General audience
Trade/Professional Usually identified; sometimes have credentials (~Professional) No prescribed format; length varies Common language or language of the trade Graphics/photos designed to draw interest Those employed in or following the field
Scholarly (peer-reviewed) Always identified; academic credentials usually present Includes abstract and references; lengthy Scholarly, formal language Detailed charts or graphs to show data, research findings Other scholars; narrow focus

When do I use each type?

  • For up-to-date information or current events
  • For information or opinions about popular culture
  • For finding key ideas, important dates or concepts
  • For general, background information on a topic
  • For topics of interest to those in a particular trade or profession
  • For finding current trends in a particular industry
  • For subject-specific background information
  • For in-depth information and research
  • For finding other research sources
  • For finding what has been studied on your topic