ENGL 127 Research Writing: Social Sciences (Wilber)

The Podcast Project: For students enrolled in English 127 with Ari Wilber

Information Types

Using Different Types of Sources

Use different information resources to find different kinds of information, such as news, statistics, analysis, research, or a discussion of the impact on a community.

  • A diversity of resources also helps you see different points of view on your topic. 
example of sources 
Reference book articles, or academic encyclopedias, are a great place to start.
Read reference for:
  • background knowledge
  • theoretical terms
  • an overview of the history of a subject or issues
  • key players
  • leads to more information.
image of an encyclopedia book cover
Read books, book chapters, and essays in anthologies for:
  • in-depth analysis
  • history
  • opinion
  • theory
  • multiple perspectives
Read newspaper articles for:
  • a daily account of events and issues on a local, regional, national or international scale
  • analysis of current issues
  • editorial and opinion pieces
image of newspapers
Read magazine articles for:
  • more in-depth discussion of current events and issues in the news
  • longer articles written for an interested audience in lay-person language on political, cultural, and other social issues
  • opinion
  • illustrations: charts, pictures and graphs
The Atlantic magazine cover
View and listen to multimedia for:
  • documentaries on current social issues and topics
  • informed discussion and analysis
  • case studies & personal accounts
  • background information
  • opinion and/or advocacy
PBS College Behind Bars
Read trade articles to learn about:
  • news briefs or overviews of current research and tools
  • current trends and updates in the profession
  • professional terminology
  • opinion on governmental policy, current issues, and more
  • professional development
  • to find leads to more information on your subject
Monitor on Psychology
Read scholarly articles and books to learn about:
  • current research
  • in-depth analysis
  • metareviews of the literature
  • professional terminology
  • find data, statistics, charts, and other factual information
  • to get a sense of the scope of the scholarly conversation on your subject
  • to find leads to more information on your subject
american journal of political science

Why does Information Type Matter?

Finding Information Sources

Why are there so many different information types on this page? 

Source: "Research 101: Format matters" by Anna Eisen, is licensed under a Standard YouTube License.

Learn about the process behind how different formats are created, how to connect format to purpose and identify source types appropriate to a need. Also, learn that information may be perceived differently based on the format in which it is packaged.

Assess: Is this the right format and source type?

Use the research worksheet below to help you research your topic in library resources and online.