Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Library Orientation

This guide provides information about how to access the CLTCC Library/LRC resources.

Evaluating Information

Primary vs Secondary Sources

  Primary Secondary
  • Original documents
  • Creative works
  • Relics or artifacts
  • Any other source that was written or created at the time of study
  • Textbooks
  • Monographs
  • Magazine & journal articles
  • Criticism
  • Commentaries
  • Encyclopedias
  • Any other source that analyzes and/or interprets a primary source document
  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
  • A journal article reporting NEW research or findings
  • A journal/magazine article which interprets or reviews previous findings
  • A history textbook


Scholarly vs Popular Articles



Academic Journals, Scholarly Journals, Peer-Reviewed

Use the following criteria to determine whether an article is scholarly.


Magazines, Newspapers, Trade Magazines

Use the following criteria to determine whether an article is popular.

Audience Scholars, researchers, professors, students General readers
Author Professionals - experts in the field; credentials are listed in the articles. Varies, but typically journalists, staff writers, or "guest experts". Articles may not be signed.
Content Original research. Non-technical, entertainment, news. May report on original research (such as breaking research).
Length Usually pretty lengthy, often over 10 pages long. Usually short, about 1-5 pages.
Citations Many detailed citations. No, incomplete, or very few citations.
Refereed Articles go through a peer-reviewed process, where they are critiqued by other experts in the field before publication. No.


The ability to critically evaluate information is a vital part of research and information gathering. The attached PDF will show you how to use the CRAAP Test to evaluate the quality of information and sources.