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PSYC 1101 - Wilson (Floyd) - Spring 2021: Types of Sources

 

It's important to understand the different types of sources you may encounter in Galileo. The type of source can definitely make an impact on the type of information it contains!  The graphic and information below will help you decide what's best to use.

More details

Newspapers (News sources)

  • Provides very current information about events, people, or places at the time they are published
  • Useful for information on current events or to track the development of a story as it unfolds
  • Examples: The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, CNN.com

Magazines

  • Include articles on diverse topics of popular interest and current events
  • Articles typically written by journalists or professional writers
  • Geared toward the general public
  • Examples: TimeNewsweekNational Geographic

Academic Journals (Peer-reviewed or scholarly journals)

  • Include articles written by and for specialists/experts in a particular field
  • Articles must go through a peer review process before they're accepted for publication
  • Articles tend to have a narrower focus and more analysis of the topic than those in other types of publications
  • Include cited references or footnotes at the end of research articles
  • Examples: Journal of CommunicationThe HistorianJournal of the American Medical Association

Trade Publications

  • Written for a specific industry or trade, contains information specifically for that trade
  • Often looks more like a magazine
  • Contains ads for products related to the industry
  • Examples: Advertising Age, Mathematics Teacher

Books

  • Cover virtually any topic, fact or fiction 
  • Useful for the complete background on an issue or an in-depth analysis of a theory or person
  • Can take years to publish, so may not always include the most current information
  • Examples: The Politics of Gun ControlTo Kill a MockingbirdHemingway and Faulkner in their Time

Reference Books

  • Include facts, figures, addresses, statistics, definitions, dates, etc.
  • Useful for finding factual or statistical information or for a brief overview of a particular topic.
  • Examples: dictionaries, encyclopedias, directories
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