Determine your information needs

Introductory information: Perhaps the hardest part of research is deciding what you need to find.  The steps below will... 

Review your assignment

  • Does your assignment specify what types of sources you need to use?
    • Books 
      • Provide in-depth, detailed coverage and background information
    • Articles from academic / scholarly / peer-reviewed journals
      • Provide information that is up-to-date and highly specific for scholars, researchers, and professionals.
      • cover of The Historian
    • Articles from trade publications
      • Provide information targeted to professionals in a particular industry. 
    • Articles from popular magazines
      • Provide broad summaries of research or issues on a topic for a general audience.
      • cover of Vibe Magazine
    • Articles from newspapers
      • Provide up-to-date, national and regional information on a current topic.
    • Internet sources
      • Can be useful for a variety of information needs, but each website will require critical evaluation.
  • What kind of information do you need?
    • Background or context information? Try looking for books.
    • Current information? Try looking for articles.
  • Do you need a brief overview of the topic?
  • Do you need historical information on your topic? Or do you need current information?

scholarly.jpg41.99 KB
popular.jpg44.02 KB
Last updated by on 12/10/2008