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Types of information sources

You need to consider the types of information sources you will consult for your university assignments. As a researcher you must select those sources which provide information at a level appropriate to your needs.

Over the following pages you will be introduced to the principal types of information sources:

  • Primary and secondary sources – do you need commentary about a topic, or to look at original source documents so that you can formulate conclusions based on direct evidence?
  • Scholarly, popular and professional literature
  • Do you need information written from an expert’s viewpoint, or aimed at a general audience?
  • Current and historical sources - are you doing a “before and after study”? Do you need background context?
Planning for Research
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