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MEDIA AND VISUAL CULTURE STUDIES: Types of Information Sources

Does the information source fit my assignment?

Information Need Sources to Consult Search Tools & Help
Overview of Topic
  • Encyclopedias
  • Handbooks
  • Ask a librarian
  • Search the library catalog
Definitions
  • Dictionaries
  • Handbooks
  • Ask a librarian
  • Search the library catalog
Primary Sources (first hand or contemporary accounts)
  • Books
  • Digital archives
  • Magazines & newspapers
  • Videos
  • Ask a librarian
  • Search the library catalog
  • Search online
  • Search article databases
Secondary Sources (comprehensive and/or detailed analyses)
  • Journal articles
  • Books
  • Some magazines & newspapers
  • Ask a librarian
  • Search the library catalog
  • Search article databases
Facts
  • Dictionaries
  • Almanacs
  • Statistical Handbooks
  • Ask a librarian
  • Search the library catalog
Current Events, Popular Culture
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Video
  • Ask a librarian
  • Search the library catalog
  • Search online
  • Search article databases
Historical Information
  • Books
  • Digital archives
  • Magazines & newspapers
  • Film
  • Ask a librarian
  • Search the library catalog
  • Search online
  • Search article databases
Evaluative Sources
  • Book reviews
  • Film/video reviews
  • Ask a librarian
  • Search article databases

 

How could I use this source of information?

What could a writer/presenter/performer do with this source?

More on "How to Use Sources Effectively."

Based on Bizup, J. (2008). BEAM: A rhetorical vocabulary for teaching research-based writing. Rhetoric Review 27.1, 72-86.

The CRAAP Test: Evaluating Your Sources

The CRAAP Test -- Whether reading a book, article, or website, be an information skeptic--scrutinize, analyze, and evaluate your sources.

Currency:
• When was the information published or posted?
• Has the information been revised or updated? 
• Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?
 
Relevance:
• How well does this suit your topic or answer your questions? 
• Who is the intended audience?
• Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?
 
Authority:
• Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
• Are the author’s credentials or organizational affliations given?
• What are the author’s qualifications to write on the topic?
• Is there a way to contact the author?
 
Accuracy
• Where does the information come from?
• Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
• Can you verify any of the information?
• Does the language or tone seem biased and free of emotion? 
 
Purpose
• Is the purpose to inform, sell, entertain, or persuade?
• Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions clear?
• From what perspective does the author(s) approach the subject?