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ENG 151: Information Literacy - Source Evaluation

Information Formats

Format refers to how information is packaged.

  • Some information formats appear in print and online.
  • Different formats undergo different publication processes.
  • Online formats can be updated and shared quickly. Print books and academic journals take the longest to be published.
  • Formats present information differently for different purposes. Academic journals share research for other scholars. Newspapers share breaking news and community reactions. Primary sources share first-hand accounts by those who were directly involved.

Some formats are better than others for your purpose.

Examples of Information Formats

  • Government documents - print or online
  • Primary sources - print or online
  • Newspapers - print or online
  • Magazines - print or online
  • Books - print or ebooks
  • Academic journals - print or online
  • Videos and audio
  • General website (such as: social media, blog, non-profit organization, editorial, entertainment) 

Source Types

Source refers to the actual information content. All sources require some level of evaluation. Knowing what kind of source you have will help you evaluate it properly.

There are a range of source types, but the two ends are popular and scholarly.


Examples of Popular Sources

Examples of Scholarly Sources