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Research 101: Understanding Types of Information

A guide to help you develop good research skills!


Where do I Begin?

How to Choose What You Need

As you begin your research, you will need to understand what type of information you need.  This section will help you know the difference between:

Types of Information Sources

Understanding Different Types of Information

Understanding source types helps you determine what you need for your research.  Below is a list of commonly used resources with brief descriptions. Click on a link to learn how to locate information in a particular source type.

 Provide broad, foundational coverage of a topic, usually with an in-depth analysis.

Offer introductory overviews.  You can find background information to help you
     select a topic and place it in the broader context of the discipline.

Contain articles written and reviewed by experts in the discipline. Topics are usually more narrowly focused.

​​​​​​​Are written for general audiences and are meant to entertain, inform, or present
     an opinion.  Authors are usually employed by the magazine.

Available in print and online and one of the first mediums to report on an event.

​​​​​​​Available through the library and provide scholarly coverage in a variety of disciplines.  Users can create playlists and create clips that can be embedded into other documents.  

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ Provide ready access to information of all kinds. They often provide valuable
     information, but you must carefully evaluate the credibility and reliability of web


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