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Tarleton State University Libraries Unit 3
SELECTING INFORMATION SOURCES
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image of a funnel   Information can come from virtually anywhere: personal experiences, books, articles, expert opinions, reference books, web sites, and so on. Knowing what kinds of information are offered by different types of sources will help you locate relevant information.

You can develop more robust and convincing arguments by not relying too heavily on one source (or one type) of information. Choosing a variety of sources can be an excellent way to support a thesis and offer different points of view on a topic.

Understanding the characteristics of various information sources typically used in research is an important aspect of the research process. Therefore, the following pages briefly describe six types of information sources: books, reference works, journals, magazines, newspapers, and Internet materials, as well as the distinction between primary and secondary sources.

These descriptions are followed by a page of examples that illustrates how specific information sources best fit different types of information needs.


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Updated 7/2004