Selecting the Right Source for Your Information Need

Different kinds of sources organize and present different kinds of information. Starting with the right source for the information you need will prevent frustration, and get you to what you need faster.



Type of Source Information Needed
  • News
  • basic facts, current events
  • opinions about current events/trends (editorial news)
  • Website – general
  • facts, statistics, definitions, examples
  • Website of organization/company
  • connection between a particular stakeholder and a topic
  • may include fact, opinion, current trends/solutions/products
  • Journal article (print or online database)
  • expert research and opinion
  • analysis of statistics and trends
  • current research findings
  • Encyclopedia, Dictionary (Print or Online database)
  • basic facts, definitions, statistics
  • Nonfiction book – general
  • in-depth facts about a topic
  • Nonfiction in-depth book by an expert
  • in-depth expert analysis, opinions and research
  • often deeper connections and analysis
  • Biography/Memoir
  • personal connections to a topic
  • Documentary (full length)
  • in-depth examination of topic
  • often includes examination of the impact of a topic on a particular place or group of people

Try out these case studies