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A guide on how to use library resources through the research process for Broward College students.

Type of Information You Need

What kind of information will you need?

By using various kinds of information, you can develop a good picture of your topic and write about it convincingly

Background information will help you understand your topic.
  • Definitions of words or concepts
  • Historical information 
  • Biographical data (e.g. dates of birth & death, parents' names)
  • Demographic data or population statistics 
  • Experimental data & studies 
You can use criticism, analysis, essays, and opinion pieces to learn what others think about your topic. 
  • Book or film reviews
  • Essays or opinion pieces
  • Literature reviews 
  • Academic/ scholarly articles

Where to Look for Research

Scholarly Source

Reference books

  • Include encyclopedias, dictionaries, almanacs, biographies, directories, and atlases.
  • Great for setting a foundation for your understanding of a topic.
  • These are usually reliable sources of widely accepted, factual data. 

Academic Journals 

  • Collections of research articles, case studies, literature reviews, reports, experimental studies, and other writing. 
  • Released primarily in print, but are usually available on electronic databases.
  • Come out periodically - usually annually, quarterly, or monthly.
  • They usually rely heavily on research or experimentation, and are written for academic communities. 
  • Contain what are widely referred to as "scholarly articles."

Popular Sources

Newspapers and Magazines

  • Information that is current or topical can be found in news or magazine articles. 
  • Published in magazines, newspapers, or websites, and are read by a wide variety of readers. 
  • Employ a system of fact-checking and editorial review before going to press.
  • Professional journalists investigate stories and write articles. 
  • No subject-area expertise is required to write and publish these articles.

The Internet 

The Internet is that it's a wonderful, rich landscape of information. But determining which of those millions of sources is relevant to your needs and valuable to your search can be difficult. Evaluating websites and webpages using the CRAAP test is a good place to start

...and about eBooks

  • Electronic versions of books, sometimes created as online versions only and, other times, digital versions of books already in print.
  • The "e" part of "eBook" only describes the way the material is presented, or format, but not the value of the content. 

What is a primary source?

A primary source is a document or physical object which was created during the time under study. These sources were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event.

  • Original documents (excerpts or translations acceptable): Diaries, speeches, manuscripts, letters, interviews, news film footage, autobiographies, official records 
  • Creative works: Poetry, drama, novels, music, art 
  • Relics or artifacts: Pottery, furniture, clothing, buildings

Source: Princeton University Library.

Below are links where you can find some primary sources

Find a Topic Using the Opposing Viewpoints Database

YouTube provides auto-captioning in the settlings wheel beneath the video.