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Starting your research

What types of sources do I need?

You Need:

  • Whatever your instructor requires for the assignment.  Many assignments have specified numbers of sources ("2 books, 3 scholarly journal articles, no web sites.")
  • Whatever will answer your question.  You may need:
    • background sources (encyclopedias, magazine articles, web sites),
    • in-depth coverage (books, some articles),
    • current research (scholarly articles)
    • current events (news sources)
    • or other types of resources (images, video, maps...)

Concrete suggestions

  1. Make a list of what you think you will need.  You will often choose your database to select a certain kind of source, so it is useful to think about this before trying to search for information. 
  2. If you aren't sure, start with background research in encyclopedias.

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