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HIP100 Research Skills Guide: Sources of Information


There are many different types of resources which might offer information on the topic you are researching. 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:
  • Get an overview, introduction, and/or background on a topic
  • Get information about a broad topic
Journal article   
  • Access the latest research and ideas on a topic
  • Learn about varied perspectives on a topic
  • Examine a narrow topic in very specific detail
  • Get the latest current affairs information
  • Investigate public attitudes to topics and issues
  • Locate reports and documents from government, academic, or professional organisations
  • Find introductory or background information
  • Familiarise yourself with the topic

Reference material
(dictionaries, encyclopaedias)
(general or subject-specific)

  • Find factual and statistical information on a topic
  • Get an overview of a subject
  • Find definitions
  • Decipher the "jargon" of your topic.

Sources of Information