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CST 210 Foundations of Computational Science

This guide will help you complete research for the course CST 210 Foundations of Computational Science.


Space shuttle launching into spaceThis guide will help you complete your research projects for the course CST210 Foundations of Computational Science.

On this page you will find information that will help you understand the requirements of your assignment, as well as links to places where you can get some background information about your topic.

The other pages in this guide will help you find what you need to complete your assignment. Find Scholarly Articles and Find Books will help you find background information about your topic or problem. Find Data will help you locate data for testing your mathematical model. Evaluate Sources has a framework for determining the reliability and usefulness of your sources. Write and Cite has links to places you can go for help writing your project and citing your sources. Get Help will connect you with a subject librarian who can help you at any point in your research process.

Happy researching!

Topic Overviews

Need an overview of your topic? Check out the resources below to gain a better understanding. Consulting these reference sources can also help you brainstorm keywords to use when searching for materials in article databases or the library catalog.

Assignment How-To

What is a scholarly source?

Scholarly sources are materials that have been written by experts for an academic audience. For example, these can include peer-reviewed articles, certain books, and handbooks. Watch the video below for a quick review on scholarly sources and the peer review process.


Video Length: 1:22

Used with permission from the Ronald Williams Library at Northeastern Illinois University.

What is a primary source, and how can you identify one? 

In the sciences, primary sources are original research articles that give details about a specific experiment. You can often identify them by the way they are structured. Primary sources usually have clearly labeled sections detailing the materials, methods, and results of an experiment. Think of them like a lab report.

Here is an example of a primary source on the topic of positron emission tomography: Early Prediction of Response to First-Line Therapy Using Integrated 18F-FDG PET/CT for Patients with Advanced/Metastatic Non-small Cell Lung Cancer

By contrast, secondary sources are articles or books which summarize multiple primary sources and use them to increase understanding of a topic or identify areas for further research. If published in a journal, these are usually called review articles. Unlike original research articles, which usually have a defined structure, review articles can be organized chronologically, by topic, or other ways the author chooses.

Here is an example of a secondary source on the topic of positron emission tomography: Present and future roles of FDG-PET/CT imaging in the management of lung cancer

If you check the references, you will discover that the primary source above was used as a reference for this review article.

What is an annotated bibliography?

A bibliography is a list of references or sources for your research, formatted in the appropriate style. 

Annotations are short paragraphs included after each citation which summarize, critique, or evaluate the source. Annotated bibliographies can help you formulate a stronger thesis for your research because they require you to read each source a little more closely, and think about how they support your argument. 

For more details and sample annotations, check out the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue's Annotated Bibliography page.

See the Write and Cite page of this guide for more detailed information about APA formatting and links to citation helpers.