Part 1: Start Your Research Process

11 Different Sources for Different Needs

We’ve gone through the trouble of discussing the different types of sources you might encounter while researching, but why does that matter to you? What will identifying sources do for you when it comes down to the practical side of getting our hands dirty and researching?

Well, as we’ve discussed in previous chapters, the sources that address your information needs vary as much as the needs themselves! No source will be able to address every information need you have, and so, being the strategic researchers we are, knowing what sources are out there can help us plan ahead  so you can make a few shortcuts during the research process. Do you know your information need can only be addressed by a source that was produced yesterday? Then you can skip ahead to searching for newspaper articles because we know those are published daily. Do you know your information need can only be addressed by primary research conducted by experts? Then skip ahead to scholarly sources like peer reviewed articles.

Recognizing our information need helps us think about the sources that can fill that knowledge gap, and makes us more efficient when we start our search.

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Introduction to Finding Information by Kirsten Hostetler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.