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The LibGuide of your librarian for the day, AR (they/them).

Please select the link and complete the activity here.

Skim your article and look at the information about the article that surrounds the text. What can you determine about the authorpublisher, and intended audience?

Consider the following questions to make your determination as to the source's type.

  1. Who is the intended audience of this article?
  2. What kind of information do you get from this article?
  3. What is the purpose?
  4. What type of source is this?

Please note: These are guiding questions, you do not need to answer them unless they are helpful to you in determining which source type your group has been assigned.

Article comparisons - database verisons

Activity 1

Which source type is it?

Use the links to view and skim your assigned article. If you are off-campus or on a personal laptop, you will need to login with your G# and password when prompted.

Common Source Types

Source type Audience Type of information Purpose
Encyclopedia/Reference source general audience with little or no prior knowledge of topic widely accepted factual information to educate readers new to a topic; to provide overview and background information


(in print and online)

general audience who does not need prior knowledge of the topic


general audience with no or little prior knowledge of the topic

the most current information that is known at the time the article was published

usually short articles that cover a topic on the surface without a lot of depth or background


information and opinions about popular topics, current events, and social issues

short articles are on a surface level; longer articles may go more in-depth or cover a wide variety of perspectives on the topic

to inform readers about current events and issues usually at a surface level


to inform and potentially persuade an audience that has a particular interest in the topic or subject area

to provide an overview of many aspects of a broad topic

Scholarly/peer reviewed journal 

(in library database or on the internet)

academic audience of scholars and experts in a field

articles written by scholars for other scholars often on a very narrow topic

articles are often peer-reviewed, or reviewed by other experts in the field for quality, originality, and value to the scholarly conversation on the topic 

to share the results of a research study or in-depth analysis of an issue with other scholars 

to participate in a scholarly conversation about a topic of research interest to the author

Academic book or ebook general or academic audience, depending on the complexity of the book; individuals who have a particular interest in the topic

depending on the book, information may be written for novices or people who are new to the topic; vocabulary will be defined and main concepts will be fully explained

more advanced academic books intended for other scholars will use more sophisticated language and specialized vocabulary; ideas will be explored in depth and existing research will be referenced; new research or ideas may be presented in full detail and connected to existing research or theory

to cover a broad topic comprehensively 

or to delve into finer details of a complex topic that can only be addressed in a lengthy work