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FYS 100 - N. Jackson: Types of Sources


 Types of Sources

This page provides links to information on the types of sources you may need to use for your research project. It's important to understand the differences between source types to ensure you're finding and using the correct sources. 


Popular versus Scholarly

Evaluating Popular and Scholarly Sources 

Click on the above link to learn about the difference between popular sources (like Time Magazine, Newsweek, and Business Week) and scholarly sources (such as The Journal of American History, Scandinavian Studies). 

Primary versus Secondary

Understanding Primary and Secondary Sources 

Click on the above link to learn about the differences between primary sources (created first; or, created during the time period being studied) and secondary sources (created after the primary source; created after the time period being studied). 

Internet Sources

An internet source is anything you can access for free via a search engine (such as Google Chrome or Apple Safari). These sources include social media, news sites, blogs, information pages, and more. Information found on the internet must be evaluated because anyone can put anything on the internet.*

Internet versus Database

*Internet sources are very different from the library database's scholarly sources, which are accessed online via the library's homepage. 

What is a Library Database?

Marshall University Libraries pays for online databases so that students, faculty, and staff can access credible information for free. Nearly all of the information in the library databases is not available on the internet (or, if it is available, you will likely be asked to pay money to access it).