This guide provides useful tips for determining what information is needed, what information sources need to be consulted, and how to evaluate the information found for reliability.
Think about the types of information you need to find on your topic.
IF YOU NEED:
It's advisable to use a variety of sources in your research so that you get the best, most complete and current information and can validate information across different sources.
Primary sources, containing firsthand knowledge, observation or information are created when an event is currently happening. Examples of primary sources include:
Secondary sources are written after an event has occurred, sometimes many years later. These sources summarize or analyze the information from primary sources. Secondary source examples include:
Often finding information is less of a problem than figuring out whether that information will be appropriate for your project. One way to decide whether a source is “good” for your project or not, is to begin by asking some questions about the source. Remember! Evaluation is a holistic process. One of these questions isn’t enough to determine a source’s usefulness. You need to take them all into consideration.
WHO created the source?
WHAT is the purpose of the source?
WHERE does the information come from?
WHEN was the source published?
WHY is this source useful to you?