You will often be required to do research to complete assignments in college and reports in the workplace. When you do research, it is important that you take information from good, reliable .
After completing this chapter, you will be able to:
- Identify the types of sources that are acceptable in professional writing (University of Minnesota, 2015)
- Locate sources using the Confederation College library catalog
- Evaluate sources to ensure that they are appropriate for your audience and purpose (Western Libraries, 2012)
- Create an annotated bibliography to summarize and evaluate your sources (Brock University Library, 2013)
Types of Sources
There are three different categories of sources: primary, secondary, and tertiary.  In short, a source is the place where you have located research or information: it is the source of the information.
Sources of Information
Sources include information published in print or online journals, magazines, websites, newspapers, books, textbooks, dictionaries, encyclopedias, dissertations, or government documents.
Sources also include information given at conference proceedings or in videos, podcasts, or lecture presentations.
Sources might be published and in print (like a book), published and online (like a website), or unpublished (like a professor’s PowerPoint presentation).
No matter what type of source you use, you must make sure that your source is appropriate for your audience and purpose, and you must your source to give credit to the original creator. Failure to cite sources is a form of academic dishonesty called .
A great place to find good sources is the Confederation College library catalog. Watch this video to learn how to conduct an effective search using the Confederation College databases!
Watch this video to learn about the CRAAP method to evaluate a source . Also check out The Learning Portal resource evaluation page to evaluate the quality of the sources you use.
- University of Minnesota Crookston. (2015, July 15). Primary, secondary, and tertiary sources. https://www.crk.umn.edu/library/primary-secondary-and-tertiary-sources. ↵
- Peirce College Library. (2018, December 4). The CRAAP test video [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikTdoe7s1qI. ↵
A source is a source of information. Secondary sources, which is mainly what you will use for college assignments like research papers and essays, can be websites, podcasts, videos, newspaper articles, journal articles, textbooks - even lectures.
Provide an in-text citation (with author and date information) along with a reference entry (containing complete retrieval information) to tell the reader the original source of the information used.
the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own.