Education and Scholorships

Which Type of Sources Are Advised to Use in Research Writing


Writing is a very challenging task. It requires a researcher to have powerful writing and research skills. Research writing is also very difficult because it is different from traditional forms of writing. In traditional writing, you write what comes to your mind like you use the first person and third person where you need. Also, you use any source you want to use in writing. This is not the case with research writing. This type of writing requires following a particular structure and language use.

Along with this, research writing also requires its writers to take the data from credible sources. Many students do not know what those credible sources are. If you are one of them, then do not worry. Today’s article discusses which type of sources you should use in your writing. Therefore, let’s start our discussion with the following question;

What are research sources writing?

As the name suggests, research sources are the sources you use in your study. As a researcher, you take data from those sources and incorporate that data into your research writing. Data taken from research resources are usually credible and have value in research. There are three different types of research writing sources based on the data. Hence, a brief description of those sources is as follows;

1.     Primary sources

The first type of writing source is a primary source. A primary source is the source of data that the researcher collects himself. These are original research writing sources. In other words, you can say that they are not interpretations of other authors. Primary sources display original thinking and contain only first-hand information. Some common examples of such resources are theses, dissertations, scholarly journal articles, etc.

2.     Secondary sources

The second type of source that can help you in your research writing is the secondary source you can also get from research paper writing services. This source is the restatement of the interpretation of the primary source. It contains a description of primary sources. These are not less important than primary sources. In fact, with added interpretations and restatements, these sources add much value to the original research. Typical examples of these sources are textbooks, edited and interpreted literary work, review articles, etc.

3.     Tertiary sources

Sources that only repackage, list, or summarise the existing information are tertiary sources: such sources index, abstract, and digest other sources’ information. The reference materials and textbooks are considered tertiary sources. It is because they only list down the topics researched previously. You must also remember that such sources are not credited to a single author. Typical examples of tertiary research writing sources are fact books, encyclopaedias, Wikipedia, etc.

Which type of source is the best to use in your research?

The best source to use in research writing depends on many factors. The first factor is what your research questions are. The second is what type of methods you want to use in your research to answer those questions. The pros and cons of the different writing sources also matter a lot in deciding the best source. So, let’s discuss the pros and cons of the sources mentioned above. Those pros and cons will help you understand which source is the best.

Pros and cons of primary sources

After reading the above discussion, you know what primary sources are, so there is no need to repeat that information. A brief description of its pros and cons is as follows;


  • The biggest advantage of using primary sources is knowing that the data is authentic. Having the original data, you do not need to worry about any deception.
  • Any other researcher does not misinterpret this data. Probably, this is the greatest advantage of using this source for research writing. It is because you are getting the story straight from the mouth of the author.
  • The information in the primary source can generally be traced back to the original creator. This plus point adds much more weight to the research.


  • Because of the processes involved in this source, it could be very time-consuming. First, you have to search for the primary sources and then read them thoroughly in research writing. It is a very tiring and time-consuming task.
  • It can also be a costly source to use. Most of the original research available on the internet is paid, or you need to buy a subscription.
  • When you rely solely on this source, you rely only on your interpretation of the things. In this case, your interpretation might also be wrong.

Pros and cons of Secondary sources

The definition of the secondary research writing sources is given above. You can read it from there. Here, let’s talk about its pros and cons.


  • This source expands on the primary sources, which is a good thing. Sometimes, the researcher has a limited view of things. Looking at expert interpretation creates new angles to think about.
  • The research can use secondary sources readily as the interpretations of the data are already present. All he needs to do is commence the research writing.
  • The cost of secondary sources is also very low compared to the primary ones. These sources are mostly available for free on the internet. You can make use of different databases for this purpose.


  • The major con of the secondary source is that the researcher may face difficulty in obtaining the relevant data.
  • You do not know the angle with which the other researcher has interpreted the primary source. It is a potential difficulty associated with a secondary source.


To summarise, the primary sources are the most credible sources for research writing. Although many research projects use both sources, the primary is still the best. Sometimes, the distinction between primary and secondary sources is difficult. However, if you know both sources’ proper definitions and usage, you can distinguish them easily.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button