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COLS 101: College Success: Identifying Sources

Identifying Sources

Different sources are more helpful depending on the topic you are researching. Here are some examples of sources:

  • Books - Best for historical topics or an in-depth explanation of a topic.
  • Reference books (encyclopedias) Best for background information or basic research.
  • Popular magazines Best for current topics where you only need a little information.
  • Newspapers Best for news or current information.
  • Scholarly journals Great for college-level research. Best when you need data and original research.
  • Websites Use websites with caution! Information may or may not be reliable.
  • People - You might hold an interview and talk to an expert, or gather opinions from others. Depending on who it is you talk to, people may or may not be the most reliable sources.