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Assignment | Argument with Research (P. Khalaf): Finding Sources

ENGL 1302 | Prof. Paula Khalaf (Spring 2024)

Find Credible Information

When we talk about "credible" sources, we mean those which are accurate and trustworthy, coming from a reputable authority. If you work within the library databases, you don't have to worry about this as much, because information sources have to be selected for inclusion in the database collections. Google, on the other hand, isn't picky, and it doesn't care about accuracy -- which means you have to work a little harder to get good information.


Wait, are these credible or or are they scholarly?

E-reader being pulled off a bookshelf as if it were a print bookYes.

Books are just a medium rather than a class of information. There are scholarly books, there are credible non-scholarly ("popular") works, there are reference works (e.g. encyclopedias -- which are not usually appropriate for your final works cited), and there's junk books. Nonfiction is not the determiner of scholarly.

Scholarly books, like scholarly articles, will be authored by subject-matter expert (PhD not hobbyist), provide copious citations, and will be published by a university press (e.g. University of Texas Press) or a professional society (e.g. the American Psychological Association).

Source Types

Information types: scholarly (expert authors, deep dive into subject material); trade (expert but more casual/informative); news (up to date, but not expert authors or especially analytical); reference sources are good for summaries but not for citing.

Our databases contain a little of everything!  What kind of source gives you what type of information?

Click the image to view full-size. It's rather oversimplified, honestly, but it'll give you a framework to start with.

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