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Evaluating Sources

Choosing the Type of Source

Before beginning a project you will sometimes need to figure out what kind of source will provide the kind of information you need to answer your research question. If your professor has not assigned what types of sources to use, consider if you need primary, secondary or a mix of types before starting your search.

Source Type


More Information



  Scholarly Articles
  & Books

 Scholarly articles and books introduce new knowledge based on  original research or experimentation.

 Many scholarly articles undergo the  peer-review process through which  experts in the field scrutinize articles  before they are published, resulting in  high quality scholarly information.

  Journal Search
  The Library Catalog

  Investigate further:
The Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

 Trade Articles

 Specialized publications inform and  update people who work in a  particular industry or occupation about  current trends and events in that  industry or occupation.

  Journal Search


  & Magazine  Articles

 Newspapers and magazine articles provide a range of information that  may entertain, relay current events  information, or present educated  opinions.

 While this information may be helpful  for some assignments, it is not  considered scholarly.  

  Newspaper Resources



 Websites are great for all kinds of information. News, video, images, scanned and photographed artifacts and documents, music and recordings! Many museums, colleges, libraries and organizations share a lot of information online.

 However, as you know, websites can be created by anyone,  and can change at any time, so be  sure to evaluate any website you use.

   Evaluating Websites


  Images, Audio
  & Video


  Images, audio and video add to presentations and papers where words may be unclear.

  They can also be used as primary sources in your own research, especially images and audio recordings from events.

  Audio Databases
  Image Databases
  Video Databases