The Research Process: Sources of Information

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Types of Information Sources:

  • books
  • reference books (dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc.)
  • periodicals (magazines, newspapers, journals, etc.)
  • websites

When researching a topic, you need to investigate a variety of sources to gather information.  Watch the videos below for a "big picture" overview on how information sources are created.

Primary & Secondary Sources

PRIMARY: Provides direct or firsthand evidence about an event, object, person or work of art.

  • Personal letters and diaries
  • Works of art
  • Speeches and oral histories
  • Audio and video recordings
  • Photographs
  • Laws and legislative hearings
  • Research studies

SECONDARY: Matierals that are produced sometime after an event has already happened.

  • Textbooks
  • Dictionaries
  • Encyclopedias
  • Book reviews
  • Review journal articles (talking about other people's research)