ENGL 101 English Composition 1 (Beals)

Monster-themed 101

Which Source of Info Should You Choose?

The Information Timeline

There are many type of sources you can get your info from, so....which source should you use?

It depends...

  • are you looking for info on a specific event in time?  Consider the "Timeline" in the chart below
  • are you looking for info on a general theme?  Consider the "Your Info Need" in the chart below  
    • It is generally helpful to start with Reference Sources first, then choose other source types based on the level or type of info that is most helpful to you

(Click on image to enlarge)

Image of a table showing the breakdown of the information timeline, outlined also in the text below the image.

As shown in the image above, information is created, recorded, and distributed various different mediums at different times. 

Information Timeline 

The event occurs and…

  • Within minutes or hours - you can find info on Social media platforms – such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, etc.

    • Good for: short personal reactions, opinion, announcements

  • Within hours, a day – you can find info in Newspapers, news sites, TV, Radio – such as cnn.com, BBC radio, New York Times, etc.

    • Good for: current or local info, facts, viewpoints, breaking news

  • Within a week to a month – you can find info in Magazines or Trade journals – such as Time, People Magazine, Wired, Education Week, etc.

    • Good for: summaries of info, some analysis for general public or specific profession

  • Within 6 to 8 months later and continuing – you can find info in Peer-Reviewed scholarly journals­ - such as like Nature, Journal of American Medical Association, etc.

    • Good for:  deep analysis of specific topics in academic research

  • Within 1 year later and continuing – you can find info in Books and Films – such as non-fiction, biographies, documentaries, etc.

    • Good for: thorough, comparative coverage of a topic history, complexity

  • Within 2 years later and continuing – you can find info in Reference Sources – such as encyclopedias, textbooks, atlases, manuals, etc.

    • Good for: broad overviews, key issues, statistics, topic specialized vocabulary


Image source: all images here created by GRC librarians

Strategize your Research

Start to map out your research ideas and search terms: 

1: Monster:

  • ex: vampires

2. Lens/ Metaphor/ Conversation:

  • ex: psychological

3. Key issues raised in Primary Text

  • ex: fear of illness, contagion, infection, borders, fear of the Other
Identify keywords to use as search terms for your research

We use keywords to search library tools or the web. Keywords are search terms that describe the specific concepts or issues of your assignment theme and/or topic. 

Tips: Here are a few tips about using keywords:
  • Put phrases in quotes:

    • Ex: "covid 19"

  • Combine keywords with Boolean operators "AND" and "OR" to get more relevant results.

    • Ex: Use "AND" to combine terms to narrow and focus your search (vampires AND disease)

    • Ex: Use "OR" to combine terms and broaden your search (germ OR disease OR illness OR infection).

  • Strategize both broader and narrower keywords to help you find relevant info and to help you find and focus your exact topic:

    • ‚ÄčEx: instead of "covid 19" try (disease OR germs OR illness)
  • Write down keywords you find in your reference and other sources!