7 Researching

You will often be required to do research to complete college assignments and reports in the workplace. When you do research, it is important that you take information from good, reliable sources.

Learning Objectives

After completing this chapter, you will be able to

  • identify the types of sources that are acceptable in professional writing (University of Minnesota, n.d.)
  • locate sources using the Confederation College library catalog
  • evaluate sources to ensure that they are appropriate for your audience and purpose (Western Libraries, 2012)

Types of Sources

There are three different categories of sources: primary, secondary, and tertiary. [1] 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Sources might be published and in print (like a book), published and online (like a website), or unpublished (like a professor’s PowerPoint presentation).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 cite your source to give credit to the original creator. Failure to cite sources is a form of academic dishonesty called plagiarism.

Finding Sources

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 databases at Confederation College.


Evaluating Sources

Watch this video to learn about the CRAAP method to evaluate a source [2]

Learning Check

Also check out The Learning Portal resource evaluation page for more information on how to evaluate the quality of the sources you use.


Use this checklist to evaluate your sources.

  1. University of Minnesota Crookston. (n.d.). Primary, secondary, and tertiary sources. https://www.crk.umn.edu/library/primary-secondary-and-tertiary-sources
  2. Peirce College Library. (2018, December 4). The CRAAP test video [video] . YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikTdoe7s1qI


Researching Copyright © by Confederation College Communications Department and Paterson Library Commons. All Rights Reserved.

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