Enough resources are needed to:
- Support your argument
- Include a variety of viewpoints and materials
Variety is necessary. Include many different resources.
- Primary Sources
- Contemporary accounts of an event and original documents
- Examples: letters, diaries, audio-recordings of speeches, newspaper articles
- Secondary Resources
- Retrospective sources based on primary resources; include scientific or scholarly analysis
- Examples: books, articles, editorials, reviews, scientific studies
Date of Publication
When was the source published? Make sure the date of publication is appropriate for your project.
- Current Events Research
- Use resources that are recent and reflect current attitudes.
- Historical Research
- Use a variety of resources from different time periods including both primary and secondary resources.
Quality and Reliability
When choosing your resources, the most difficult task is determining their quality and reliability. Factors to think about:
- What is the tone?
- Who is the intended audience?
- What is the purpose of the publication?
- What assumptions does the author make?
- What are the bases of the author's conclusions?
- Does the author agree or disagree with other authors of the subject?
- Does the content agree with what you know or have learned about the issue?
To help determine this, it might also help to look over the source's documentation and read some reviews of the source.
Does the source provide other leads?
- Documentation (i.e., footnotes and bibliography)
- Provides additional resources
- Substantiates the author's research