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Choosing Appropriate Sources. Types of Sources. Information comes from many different types of sources Encyclopedias Journals Databases World Wide Web Every type of source has its own PURPOSE , and it’s own way of presenting information.

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types of sources
Types of Sources
  • Information comes from many different types of sources
    • Encyclopedias
    • Journals
    • Databases
    • World Wide Web
  • Every type of source has its own PURPOSE, and it’s own way of presenting information.
  • The trick is to know the difference, and choose the APPROPRIATE Source for the TASK
choosing sources wisely
Choosing Sources Wisely
  • When you're doing research for a project, you need to make sure that you are choosing your sources wisely.
    • Your project will only be as good as your sources
  • This means CHOOSING:
    • The BEST Type of SOURCE for the task
choosing the best type of source
Choosing the BEST type of Source
  • How do you decide which is the BEST TYPE of source for the task?
    • Become familiar with the type of information offered by different types of sources.
    • Start by thinking about your Research Question: What is it I want to find?
    • Match up the type of information you need to find, with the type of source.
  • Usually your Research will be a Journey, not a Destination.
  • It will require you to use many different TYPES of Sources.

A Good Rule to follow is:

    • Start with the GENERAL and move to the SPECIFIC
from the general to the specific

Focused Knowledge

Specific Knowledge

General Knowledge



Books, Specialized

General Sources

  • Encyclopedias
  • General References

Specific Sources

  • Journal Articles
  • Website articles

Focused Sources

  • Books
  • E Books
  • Specialized References
  • Websites
From The General to the Specific
choosing good sources
Choosing Good Sources
  • You must become a GOOD judge of what a good source is
  • It is your responsibility to become a Reliable, Effective CONSUMER of Information
  • 3 Important Questions to think about are:
    • Is this source reliable? Does it contain facts, or opinions?
    • Is this source complete? Does it say all there is to say on the topic?
    • Is this source up-to-date? Was it written recently?
encyclopedias general knowledge
Encyclopedias >General Knowledge
  • An Encyclopedia is a large, multi-volume Reference work, which contains a summary of information
  • Encyclopedias provide general, background information on a topic
  • An Encyclopedia can be General – which means it contains information from a broad range of topics


  • An Encyclopedia can be Specialized – which means it contains information from a particular topic, culture, time period, or event. They provide much more depth and detail on their subject matter.
    • Ex: Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages, BC Encyclopedia

NOTE: The word “encyclopedia” means “General Education”

why when to use encyclopedias
Why & When to use Encyclopedias
  • An Encyclopedia is an EXCELLENT place to START your research
    • Gives you a good, general overview of your topic
    • Helps you narrow down your Research Focus
    • Helps you narrow down your topic, and refine your Research Question
    • Can POINT the way to more specific sources Resources
  • Pros:
    • Encyclopedias are informational, factual, and reliable sources of information
    • Encyclopedia articles give you a good, general overview of a topic
  • Cons:
    • Encyclopedia articles usually present just the highlights of a topic, they don’t provide comprehensive coverage of the topic
      • Often, you'll need more detail than an encyclopedia can provide.
    • Encyclopedias don't always have the latest information about a topic.
      • They aren't always up-to-date. Sometimes you'll need more current information.
online encyclopedias
Online Encyclopedias
  • World Book Advanced
    • Login: sas, Pass: student
  • World Book Discover
    • Login: sas, Pass: student
  • Canadian Encyclopedia
  • Know BC
world book online
World Book Online
  • Features of World Book Online:
    • Updated more frequently than print version
    • Search Results Includes MANY different types of sources:
      • Encyclopedia Articles, Images, Sounds, Primary sources, Maps, Tables, Additional Web Links
    • Save Article Feature
    • Citation provided at bottom of each article
research databases current knowledge deeper research
Research Databases >Current Knowledge/Deeper Research
  • Research Databases are organized collections of data from different types of reference sources.
    • Online periodical Articles
    • E Books
    • Online Newspaper Articles
    • Specialized References
    • Online Encyclopedia Articles
  • The EBSO and GALE Databases are a good source of information for:
    • Current knowledge on a topic
    • Past or recent research on a topic
    • Critical Thinking questions about a topic – What is the impact? What are the points of view?
  • They are designed for easy, quick searches and quick, relevant dataretrieval from reliable sources
why use the databases
Why use the Databases?
  • A Database provides links to reliable, comprehensive, up to date sources of information about a topic
  • Since Databases contain links to many different types of sources, they can provide access to General > Focused and > Specific Knowledge
  • A database can link you to many GOOD Informationsources:
    • Credible: Information is from professionals or experts in the field, and credentials are included
    • Accurate: Contain ONLY Information from reviewed published works, and facts are checked
    • Reliable: Information is factual, and generally from non-biased sources.
    • Current: information is updated frequently
    • Comprehensive: Provides links to many different sources on the topic, many of which provide detailed, in-depth coverage
    • Source Citation: Full citation information is provided
database vs web search
Database vs. Web Search
  • Contains ONLY information from reviewed, fact-checked published works
  • Information is from professionals or experts in the field
  • Information is updated frequently
  • More search options
  • Easy to narrow down topic
  • Citation information provided
  • Different types of databases for specific topics
  • Authorship is often Uncertain
  • Content often Unverified, and not reviewed
  • Search options are often limited
  • Information often does not meet specific research needs
  • CitationInformationis often unavailable
  • Often contains a lot of irrelevant information
  • Frequently out of date
ebsco databases @ sas
EBSCO Databases @ SAS
  • EBSCO Host
    • login: saspassword: student
    • A Research database with full-text content from many different sources: journals, books, reports, ebooks, publications
  • Canadian Points of View
    • Access to Canadian points of view from different sources, including magazines, newspapers, journals, reference books, and even radio and t.v.
  • Consumer Health Complete
    • Access to medical-related articles, information, images, videos, and news
gale databases @ sas
Gale Databases @ SAS

Password: student

  • CPI.Q
    • A database of articles from Canadian journals, magazines, biographies, and other sources with a Canadian Focus
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library
    • A database of specialized encyclopedias and references
  • Global Issues in Context
    • International viewpoints on global issues, topics and current events from various reference sources
academic journals
Academic Journals
  • A Scholarly Journal is a periodical, in which articles relating to a particular academic field are published.
    • Articles are reviewed and edited by peers (experts in that field)
    • The articles may contain original research, review articles, and/or book reviews.
    • The authors are usually experts in their fields, and their credentials are always provided
    • Bibliographic source information is always provided
  • Academic Journals are a reliable source of information for research.
academic journals1
Academic Journals
  • Pros:
    • Articles from Scholarly Journals can be rich in facts, and very comprehensive
    • Often, they are even more detailed than books.
    • The information in Scholarly Journal articles is usually very up-to-date.
  • Cons:
    • Articles in Scholarly Journals are often focused on VERY SPECIFIC topics, and it can sometimes be difficult to find an article relevant to your Research
    • Using Databases to search for Journal Articles can sometimes be difficult to figure out
electronic journals at sas
Electronic Journals at SAS
  • You can access content from many different Electronic Journal articles through the Electronic Research Tools at the SAS library
  • EBSCO Host
  • Canadian Points of View
  • Consumer Health Complete
  • CPI.Q
  • Global Issues in Context

The World Book Discover Site provides access to Online World Newspapers

  • Pros:
    • Newspaper articles are usually Current
      • You usually can't get much more up-to-date than a daily newspaper.
  • Cons:
    • Newspaper coverage isn't as complete as the coverage in other sources
      • Often there isn't enough detail in a newspaper article
      • Newspapers tend to present the highlights of a topic.
    • Newspapers can contain quite a bit of BIAS and Opinion
      • Newspapers are not usually reliable sources of factual information
      • The Information from a newspaper MUST always be verified with other sources
world wide web
World Wide Web
  • Pros:
    • Some websites are very reliable
    • Some Websites cover their topic in great detail
    • Many Websites are updated regularly
  • Cons:
    • There is no consistency in the usefulness of Websites as a source
    • EVERY Website you use must be judged and evaluated, in order to determine it’s usefulness as a Source
      • Many websites are meant to sell, persuade or entertain, and not inform
      • Anyone can publish on the web, so there are no checks and Balances
    • The best Web sites to use are ones that are meant to inform you
  • Non-Fiction books are usually a good, comprehensive reliable source of information. However, sometimes finding an appropriate Non-Fiction book in a smaller library, can be a daunting task. Large collections of Non-Fiction books have become a rare commodity in libraries, because they very expensive and they become out-of-date quickly, If you can find a book on your topic, you must then determine if it covers enough details about a specific topic to be relevant.
  • Pros:
    • Books are usually a reliable source, as long as the purpose of the book is to inform.
    • Books are usually complete sources - they usually cover their topic thoroughly.
  • Cons:
    • Books are sometimes out-of-date.
      • Always check to see when your book was written before using it as a report source.
      • If it's more than a few years old, it may be missing some new information that you'll want to know about
  • Non-Fiction Ebooks are a good alternative to print books, as they can be updated more frequently, and don’t require storage space
  • You can access many different FREE informational Ebooksthrough the World Book Discover site
research tools @ sas
Research Tools @ SAS

Many different useful Research Tools can be found on the WB Discover or WB Advanced sites

  • Atlas
  • Citation Builder
  • Dictionary
  • Ebooks Center
  • Explore BC
  • Explore the World
  • Primary Sources
  • Today in History
  • Visual Dictionary
  • World Newspapers