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Plan Possible Sources

Choose the right source for the right project.

Good research requires finding information in a variety of resources and with multiple points of view.

Activities:

  • Scroll to review the information below, and click on the links to learn when and how to use the various sources.
  • Watch this Popular and Scholarly Sources tutorial. Note that the tutorial focuses on magazines and journals.
  • Fill out the Exploring Possible Resources worksheet to help you think about sources that might be a good starting point for your research project.

 

If this inquiry requires,

Then try this type of source:

The most up-to-date information
Newspaper, magazine, website, almanac
Historical information
Reference, nonfiction, biography, primary source, documentary
Background or summary information
General encyclopedia, dictionary
Very specific or in-depth information
Nonfiction, magazine, website, reference, documentary
Firsthand accounts
Primary source, interview, nonfiction, biography, documentary
Adapted with permission from the Empire State Information Fluency Continuum by New York City Dept. of Education

Type of Source

What Does It Have?

Where Can I Find It?

Image result for almanac
Annual statistics, facts, charts and tables
On your public or school library shelf
Internet (Some may require subscriptions.)
Image result for biography abraham lincoln
Facts and accounts about notable people
On your public or school library shelf
In databases, found on OSLIS or on school and public library websites
eBooks

Dictionary

Image result for dictionary

Word definitions, spellings, and pronunciations

On your public or school library shelf
Internet (Some may require subscriptions.)

Image result for documentary film
Visual expressions of facts, reports, and/or opinions
On your public or school library shelf
Streaming sources (Some may require subscriptions.)
Television
Internet

Image result for world book encyclopedia 2013
Authoritative overviews on most topics
On your public or school library shelf
Internet version your public or school library subscribes to; found on library’s website
Image result for interview
Consultations with an expert, in person or via telephone or email
First consult with teacher or librarian
Directories
Internet
National Geographic
Publications containing articles and illustrations, issued weekly or monthly
On your public or school library shelf
In databases, found on OSLIS or on school and public library websites
Internet (Some may require subscriptions.)
Publications containing articles and illustrations, issued daily or weekly
On your public or school library shelf
In databases, found on OSLIS or on school and public library websites
Internet (Some may require subscriptions.)
Books
Informative, factual writings on a single topic, which can include authors' opinions
On your public or school library shelf
eBooks provided by school or public libraries, accessed from their websites
eBooks found within databases, found on OSLIS or on school and public library websites

First-hand accounts or or original objects produced during the time being studied

Internet
Museums and archives
Encyclopedia of Animal Science
Authoritative, factual articles which can include multiple topics in a subject area
On your public or school library shelf
eBooks provided by school or public libraries, accessed from their websites
eBooks in databases, found on OSLIS or on school and public library websites
EBSCOhost interface
Page/s on the Internet with information that should be checked for accuracy and bias
Internet
Some information adapted with permission from the Virginia Tech University Libraries

Still having trouble finding sources? Read about specialized resources, or ask your librarian.

Next => Now that you have done some planning, it is time to go to the next step of the OSLIS research process: Find.