Skip to Main Content

Identify Different Types of Information Sources: Home

Welcome to the MC Library research skills guide on identifying different types of information sources. This guide will explain that each information source has a different purpose.

Know Your Research Needs

Research is a step-by-step process. An effective way to do research is to think about what you need to know before you can start with your research. That will guide you to consult appropriate type of information sources. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Do I need background information because this is a new topic for me?
  • Do I only need current information on this topic?
  • Do I need specific information on a specific aspect of my topic?

Click on the other tabs at the top of this guide to learn more about different sources. 

Terms in this Guide

  • Periodicals: Periodicals are materials that are published at regular intervals (monthly, quarterly, daily, etc.). Periodical is a broad term. Journals, magazines, and newspapers are all periodicals. E.g., Readers’ Digest. 
  • Source Type: The format in which a particular resource is available. For example: encyclopedia, print or e-book, journal article, dissertations and theses, newspaper article, review, DVD, government document, etc. 

Research Cycle

"Find Sources." Magnifying Glass.

Research Cycle

"Evaluate Sources." File folders.

More Research Skills Guides

Want to learn more? View our other research skills guides:

MC Library Research Skills Guides