Knowing where information is coming from, who wrote it, and why they wrote it, is an important step in doing research. When you find a new source of information, especially on the Internet, ask yourself the following questions.
Relevance or Coverage
Although this list of questions is not exhaustive, do you feel confident that the information presented on the website you are evaluating is of use for you and your research?
You have found sources you want to use in a paper or project, but how do you use them well? How does the source fit into the structure of your paper? Think about how each of your sources could add to your project with the following elements.
What could a writer do with this source? by (Kristin M. Woodward/Kate L. Ganski) / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
Below is a list of the most commonly cited resources used for research.
Scholarly Peer-Reviewed Journals
Articles are reviewed and approved for publication by scholars/experts in the field.
Examples: Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Journal of Accountancy
Articles are written and read by professionals in a specific industry.
Examples: Harvard Business Review, Chronicle of Higher Education
Articles are intended to casually inform, entertain, or present an opinion.
Examples: Time, Fortune, Vanity Fair
Published daily, newspapers are often the first to report a newsworthy story.
Examples: New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today
Books and Ebooks
Books provide broad and foundational coverage of a topic.
Examples: How to Win Friends and Influence People, Freakonomics Ebooks are just digitized print books
Encyclopedias & Handbooks
Encyclopedias & handbooks feature introductory overviews of topics.
Examples: Encyclopedia of Social Theory, The Persuasion Handbook
Government websites have .gov as their designated domain. They are often a great place to search for statistical information.
Examples: http://www.usa.gov/ and http://nces.ed.gov/
Can be challenging to search and navigate to the information you need