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BIO216 Research Skills Guide: Identify Information

COMMONLY USED SOURCES

There are many different types of resources which might offer information on the topic you are researching, but you need to consider whether the source is scholarly or authoritative enough for an academic assignment. (If in doubt, check with your lecturer.)

Source type*: Use this source to:
Book
  • Get an overview, introduction, and/or background on a topic
  • Get in-depth information about a broad topic
Journal article   
  • Access the latest research and ideas on your topic
  • Learn about varied perspectives on a topic
  • Examine a topic in very specific detail
Newspaper
  • Get the latest current affairs and business information
  • Investigate public attitudes to topics and issues
Website   
  • Locate reports and documents from government, academic, or professional organisations
  • Find background or introductory information
  • Familiarise yourself with the topic

Reference material

(dictionaries, encyclopaedias)

  • Find factual and statistical information on a topic
  • Get an overview of a subject
  • Find definitions
  • Use subject specific resources to decipher the "jargon" of your topic

*Source type includes both hard copy and online versions of the source (for example, books includes both hard copy books and ebooks

The following pages will introduce you to three common search tools to help you find resources for your assignments.

Sources of Information