Using information

All writing at academic level involves gathering and using information of some sort, whether it is data from experiments, interviews or background reading material. A big part of being a successful writer is using this information in a strategic way. Information can be divided into primary sources, secondary sources or tertiary sources (Rienecker and Jorgensen, 2013).

Please note that you can find more detailed information on using the library resources at Chalmers library Research Guide

Primary sources

This is the original or ”raw” research. It might include:

  • experimental data
  • code
  • interviews / personal contact
  • original documents e.g. laws, regulations, instructions, correspondence
  • case studies

Secondary sources

This is the interpretation of the data and often comes in the form of:

  • books
  • journal articles
  • reports

Tertiary sources

These summarise secondary sources and often come in the form of:

  • textbooks
  • encyclopedias
  • wikis

This section discusses the use of secondary sources and in particular:

  • how to find academic texts
  • how to read these texts in a strategic way
  • how to use these texts in writing
  • how to refer to these texts