These are a few categories we might group sources of information into, along with their defining characteristics. Click the icons below for example excerpts from articles in each category. Different types provide information in different ways, and can have varying amounts of credibility.
This depends on what information you need to find as well as the requirements of your assignment. If your prof says to only use scholarly articles, that's what you're working with.
Different sources are useful at different stages of your research, as well. Are you still figuring out your topic? An encyclopedia-type source is okay to read. Do you need a credible overview of an issue? News or magazine coverage will work. Do you need depth and nuanced analysis? Scholarly journal articles.
Regardless of the format of the information (news article, video, journal article, book, and so on), you do need credible, reliable information! There are a few different mnemonic devices for thinking this through: the most famous is the CRAAP test -- as in, you want a source to pass the CRAAP test to ensure it's not crap.
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