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Features of Common Sources

When you search in library databases, you will find a variety of source types. It is helpful to understand features of different sources so you can begin to determine if it will be useful for your project. 

  Newspaper articles Field-specific magazine
or trade journal articles
Scholarly journal articles
Author Journalists Professionals or scholars  Scholars/Professors
Audience General public Professionals in a specific field Professors and college students
Purpose Report and provide context on current events Provide detailed information about specialized professional issues
  • Share the results of academic studies
  • Explore theoretical issues related to an academic discipline
  • Provide detailed analysis of scholarly issues
  • Engage with previous scholarship 
Length Short (1-2 pages) Medium (2-6 pages) Long (10-20 pages)
Currency Extremely current, published daily Somewhat current, published about four times a year

Do not cover current events because of the lengthy
process of research, review, and publication. Published
about four times a year.

Usefulness for ENGL110 
Useful if you need information about current events related to your topic Useful because they provide detailed, field-specific information

Probably will not be useful for your current project
because they are very long and require extensive
knowledge of an academic discipline. You will use scholarly journal articles later in your academic studies.