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English Writing 300/33 - College Composition (Sapra)

Books

Books typically provide extensive coverage on one topic or theme. Subject-specific reference books can provide you with background information as well as the historical context of your topic.

  • Circulating Books may be checked out for use outside the library.
  • Electronic Books (ebooks) are always available and may be viewed on any computer with an internet connection, on or off campus.
  • Reference Books are available for use in the library, but not for checkout.

Write down the call number of the print books in your search results to help you locate the books on the shelf, and to give you an idea of where to browse for similar titles.

Articles

Articles published in periodicals (journals, newspapers, and magazines) can provide a narrower focus or perspective on specific aspects of your topic. It is useful to understand the purpose, authority, and identifying features of different types of periodicals.

Journals

  • Report original research and criticism
  • Published by professional associations to benefit those working in the field or discipline
  • Many articles are reviewed by other experts in the subject area (peer-review)
  • Articles are often lengthy and provide citations

Visit OneSearch to browse our entire collection of journals.

Newspapers

  • Focus on current events and news
  • Not usually considered scholarly or professional, but may be only source of information on very new topics

Magazines

  • Focus on popular or current topics
  • Articles are often shorter and written for a general audience
  • Typically written by journalists

Websites

Websites

The Internet can be a valuable source for supplementing the information you have gathered from books and periodicals.

Remember that I recommended .edu, .gov & .org.

However, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you EVALUATE THE INFORMATION you get from the Internet to determine if it is reliable and useful to your research. Countless web pages are available on just about every topic, but how can you know what's worthwhile or credible?

Evaluation of web pages and websites has become a necessary part of the research process, and a means to sharpen your own critical thinking skills.

Understanding Internet Searches & Websites

Consider the following:

  • Anyone can build a website, experts and non-experts alike.
  • Some information may be outdated or even hazardous to the reader.
  • Web searches often retrieve more than 1,000,000 results, many of which are irrelevant to your research.
  • Website publishers may be biased and have an agenda, or may be trying to sell you something.
  • Since no one supervises the Internet, there's a lack of basic quality and usability standards.
  • Website information is not reviewed the same way as published works (books, scholarly articles, encyclopedias).
  • The Internet often functions as a place for people to share their unfiltered opinions. 
  • Scholarly sources are rarely available for free. The library subscribes to research databases that provide access to high-quality research at no cost to you.