English 155: Professor Bradley
Popular and Scholarly Sources
- Authors are authorities in their
- Authors cite their sources in endnotes,
footnotes, or bibliographies.
- Individual issues have little or no
- Articles must go through a peer-review
or refeered process.
- Articles are usually reports on scholarly
- Illustrations usually take the form of
charts and graphs.
- Articles use jargon of the
Popular Magazines and Newspapers:
- Authors are magazine staff members or free lance writers.
- Authors often mention sources, but rarely formally cite them in
- Individual issues contain numerous advertisements.
- There is no peer-review process.
- Articles are meant to inform and entertain.
- Illustrations may be numerous and colorful.
- Language is geared to the general adult audience (no specialized
knowledge of jargon needed).
Evaluating Web Sites
- Authority - Who is the author? What's his/her background, education,
experience? Would you trust the organizations they are affiliated
with? Can you find contact information? What is the domain name (eg .com, .edu, .org, .gov, .net)?
- Content & Coverage - What does it cover? Is it aimed at experts? Is the information relevant?
- Timeliness - When was it written? When was it last updated? Is the information still current?
- Accuracy - Can you check the information somewhere else? (Especially
important for things like Wikipedia!) Has someone else reviewed
the content? Does it include a list of works cited or other clues
to how the information was found?
- Objectivity - Does the site have a bias? Are there advertisements or links to
organizations that might be a clue? What does the domain name tell
you about objectivity?
Narrow or Broaden Your Search (Boolean Searching)
Use AND between terms to narrow your search
example: television and violence and children
Use OR and/or truncate (*, ?) words to broaden your search
example: children or youth or adolescents
example: child* (will find child, children, etc.)
example: wom?n (will find woman or women)
Note: check online help for the correct truncation symbol
Finding Background Information and Articles
You can use these databases or any others listed on the database pages; this list is only a suggestion of places to start your research. If the full-text is not available for the article you want to see, click the button or the "Find Text" link to see if the full-text is available in another database.
If you have questions as you do your research, you can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 818-677-6808. For help 24/7, go to Ask-A- Librarian (http://library.csun.edu/Research_Assistance/askus.html).
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