Resource materials comes in many different types and formats and your needs will determine what resources you should use. Knowing how to evaluate all types of resources is important to ensure that you are only using what meets the requirements of your project.
For example, if you are writing a history paper that requires you to use scholarly journal articles and books, but you instead use information solely from Google and Wikipedia, you will not be meeting the requirements of the project.
However, there are times when you may need to use magazine or news sources, such as, if you are writing a speech about politicians in the media. This project would require many sources from newspapers, websites, social media, etc.
Additional information is available on the CSU Library's Evaluating Resources Library Guide.
What are They?
|Books||a work of fiction or nonfiction in a printed or electronic format||Popular literature, Encyclopedias, Collections of Research, Bibliographies|
|Periodicals||a magazine or other journal that is issued at regularly recurring intervals||Magazines, Newspapers, Academic Journals|
|Webpages||Blogs, Informational, News (CNN, FOX, etc.), Wikis|
|Audio/Visual||sound and picture elements||Movies, Music, Posters|
|Weird Stuff||items that do not fit into other publication categories||Sheet Music, Artifacts, Unpublished Diaries and Journals|
It is especially important to know the differences between periodicals so that you utilize the best source for the project you are working on:
|Audience||General audience, usually with specific interest||General but educated audience||Researchers, scholars, faculty in the subject area|
|Author||Written by journalists||Written by journalist or investigative reporters||Written by experts in the subject area|
|References||Rarely have citations for sources||Sometimes cite sources, more often references in articles||Always have full citations for sources|
|Example||Sports Illustrated||The New York Times||Political Science Quarterly|