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Information Literacy

This guide is designed to help you both develop and reinforce your information literacy skills.

Module 2 - Explore

There are many different sources of information available. Your instructor may provide you with specific guidelines for the types of information to use for your research/project. The chart below provides an explanation of the different sources:

Source Type






Professional/Trade Journals Written for professionals in a particular field. Reports on topics and events in a given industry. Library Journal
Magazines Written for a general audience. Report original research. Sports Illustrated
Scholarly/Peer Reviewed Journals Written for a scholarly audience. Report original research. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Newspapers Current events and news. Often published daily. New York Times
Books Extensive coverage of one topic or theme. Medical Assisting
Websites Can cover personal, corporate, or informal topics. (The Library of Congress)
Database A database contains citations of articles in magazines, journals, and newspapers. Some databases contain abstracts or brief summaries of the articles, while other databases contain complete, full-text articles. Academic Search Complete
Media This could be a variety of things from YouTube clips to art to music to documentaries to a movie. Media give a different perspective on a topic. YouTube


Videos are specific to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries and are used for general information purposes only. For specific information about how to use the CLTCC catalog, please refer to the Library Orientation LibGuide at and download the CLTCC BobCat Library Orientation sheet or contact the librarian at 318.487.5443 ext. 1137.

Module 2 - Theory


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What does it mean to write with sources?

Selecting relevant sources is more than finding the type of source that is required and it is more than finding a source that contains your keywords. As the researcher you will want to select sources that enable you to engage a question or a problem.

Required Sources

A list of required sources will help you envision what a good bibliography will do: show your reader the depth and breadth of your research. Gathering all of the required sources for an assignment does not substitute for engaging with sources in your writing. A well researched paper will converse with the ideas and information presented in sources.

Framing Your Research

Scholarly writers engage with the work of others through the strategic selection of research and ideas pertinent to the question or problem under discussion. When trying to decide if a source is pertinent to your question, it can be helpful to ask yourself: What could a writer do with this source? Could this source provide background facts or information? Could I analyze or interpret this source for my reader? Could this source refine my question or extend my thesis? Could this source be a lens for interpreting competing findings?

A paper that cites a lot of background sources will be a boring report. A paper that cites a lot of argument sources without including an exhibit runs the risk of rehashing the ideas of others instead of applying the ideas of others to new questions or contexts.

Works Cited

Bizup, J. (2008). BEAM: A Rehtorical vocabulary for teaching research-based writingRhetoric Review, 27(1), p72-86. doi:10.1080/07350190701738858


Evaluating Sources Tutorial

This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike United States license. 

Thank you to the NCSU Libraries for creating and sharing this tutorial.

Module 2 - Glossary

  • Bibliography: A bibliography is a list of sources about a single topic. Each book listed in the bibliography is identified by its Author, Title, Publisher, Place of Publication, and Date of Publication. Articles from newspapers, journals and magazines include the title of articles, the authors, the journal or magazine where it was published and the volume, issue number, the date of the publication and the pages the article appeared on. Each discipline has its own style for creating bibliography entries.
  • Primary Source: Primary Source is used to describe several different types of sources. In the Sciences a Primary Source is an original research article. In the Humanities, a primary source could be the text of a novel or it could be an artifact like a map or a diary.
  • Scholarly Source: Scholarly sources are different from news sources because rather than reporting an event, scholarly sources ask and answer questions through some form of analysis. Scholarly sources are written by experts-- people who know a lot about their subject like professors-- and they also refer to other sources in a works cited/references list to show where their information came from originally.


This guide is based on the Information Literacy Tutorial from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Information Literacy Tutorial by Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Based on a work at

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License

Thank you to UW-Milwaukee Golda Meir Library for content and inspiration.