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ENGL 1303 - Freshman Composition I

Use this guide to find information and research to complete your assignments for ENGL 1303.

Source Types

Knowing the characteristics of information source types is important in understanding what types of information to use at different points in your research process. This table breaks down important characteristics of some different information source types. 

 
  Purpose Audience Author Other
News Sources

Inform audience on current topics

Provide basic facts and details

Anyone! Appeals to non-specialists

Journalists, freelance writers, or editorial staff

Brief editing process

Brief, published or updated daily

Good source for editorials or opinions

Magazine

Entertain and inform audience on current or recent topics

Present information and research

Anyone! Appeals to non-specialists

Journalists, freelance writers, or editorial staff

Brief editing process

Medium-length articles

Published weekly/monthly

Good source for features, opinions, and interviews

Scholarly Journals

Inform and report on research done by scholars and experts in a field

Cover specialized academic topics

Researchers, scholars, and other experts

Experts in a field, subject specialists

Extensive editing process

Peer-reviewed

Specialized and lengthy articles

Include reference lists

Takes months to publish because editing process is extensive

Academic Books Provide a thorough, comprehensive examination of academic topics Researchers, scholars, and other experts

Experts in a field, subject specialists

Extensive editing process

Include extensive reference lists

Takes months or years to publish because research, writing, and editing process is extensive

Chart adapted from Kristina De Voe at Temple University Libraries

Information Cycle

The Information Cycle is the progression of media coverage of a particular newsworthy event.  Knowing about the information cycle will help you to better recognize how different information sources will cover your topic and which types of information sources to consult.

For more information:

A timeline showing how quickly different sources of information are produced.

Image courtesy of calstatela.edu