How to Research: A Tutorial
Types of Sources
Now that you’ve decided on some keywords, you are ready to start searching for sources. The type of sources you need will depend on your topic and your assignment.
- To find BOOKS, use the Library Catalog
- Books are useful when you need
- Detailed, comprehensive information on a topic
- Historical information on a topic
- Information on a topic in relation to other issues
- To find ARTICLES, use the Databases
- Databases contain magazine, newspaper, and scholarly journal articles
- Articles are useful when you need
- Very current information that has not been published in a book yet
- Current information to update what you have found in a book
- Current research, statistics or theories about a very specific or focused topic
- If your assignment requires you to find "scholarly," "academic," or "peer-reviewed" journal articles, you will need to search the databases.
- To find WEBSITES, well, there are a lot of places you can look!
- Websites are useful when you need
- VERY current information
- Information directly from the government, a company or an organization
- Current statistical information
- Directory information, such as addresses, phone numbers, etc.
- Check with your professor to be sure it is acceptable to use websites for your research
The Library Catalog is used to search for Reference books, circulating books, audiobooks, e-books, DVDs, and VHS. You can search RVCC's collection and the Somerset County Library System.
The Databases are a searchable collection of information that has been organized in a precise way. Databases can contain: citations, which give you the information about an article, usually including a summary - and full-text, which give you the complete text of the article.