Before starting your research, it's important to understand the types of information sources available. The video below provides a broad overview of the information you can find in sources such as books, encyclopedias, almanacs, periodicals, electronic resources and more.
Consider the types of evidence needed to answer your research question or make your argument. Are certain types of sources recommended or required? Some instructors require you to use only scholarly peer-reviewed journals, primary sources, newspapers, or books from the library, while others might leave things more open-ended.
|If you need:||Try using:|
|Expert evidence||Scholarly articles, books, and statistical data|
|Public or individual opinion on an issue||Newspapers, magazines, and websites|
|Basic facts about an event||Newspapers, books, encyclopedia (for older and well-known events)|
|Eye-witness accounts||Newspapers, primary source books, web-based collections of primary sources|
|A general overview of a topic||Books or encyclopedias|
|Information about a very recent topic||Websites, newspapers, and magazines|
|Local information||Newspapers, websites, and books|
|Information from professionals working in the field||Professional/trade journals|