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ENGL 101 English Composition 1 (Chase): Types of Sources

This guide was created to help you with research in Elaine Chase's English 101

Information Timeline

Information Timeline

Information is created and shared across various mediums and at different times after an initial event takes place.

(Click on image to enlarge)

information timeline graphic

Source: "Information Timeline" by QCCLibrary, educational use

After an event occurs, you can look to…

Social Media sources
  • within minutes – here social media platforms “breaks” the story. Info may be incomplete, false, or biased.
  • Examples: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Blogs, etc.
News sites, TC, Radio & Daily Newspapers
  • within days – As time passes, info gets added, updated and verified. Opinions emerge. Examples:, BBC radio, New York Times, etc.
Weekly magazines
  • within a week – These offer more insight, likely to include context info, interviews, related topics.
  • Examples: Newsweek, Time, People, The New Yorker
Monthly magazines
  • within a month – additional time allows for better reporting. May include opinions.
  • Example: Time, People Magazine, Wired, National Geographic, Scientific American
Scholarly journals
  • Within 3+ months – written by experts, well-researched and objective.
  • Examples: Journal of American Culture, Nature, JAMA
  • Within 12+ months – benefits most from hindsight. Gives most in-depth coverage of a topic.
  • Examples: non-fiction titles, textbooks, reference materials, etc

Different source types

03 - Types of Information from Joshua Vossler on Vimeo.

Source: "Types of information" by Joshua Vossler, Joshua Vossler, Educational use.