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English 155 (Hatton): Resource Types

What Types of Resources?

The types of resources you plan to research and include as part of your thesis can influence your search strategies. 

Think about the type of material that you need -- do you need to find a letter? A scholarly article? A book?

Scenario 1: You found a letter written by James Baldwin and would like to find information that situates the content of the letter in the context of his life and work. What type of resource might you look for?

Scenario 2: You are interested in how movie adaptations of Toni Morrison's work reflect and comment on her themes. Where might you find information?

Scenario 3: You want to find an analysis of biblical influences in Baldwin's or Morrison's work. What might you search for?

Note: knowing what you need to find will help you find it. Some databases have scholarly articles, while others include popular sources. Many have both. In addition, there are databases that include illustrations, musical recordings, and more.

Scholarly vs. Popular

Often you will be asked to include peer-reviewed literature in your writing.  Fortunately, many databases include a Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed/Academic Journal limiter to help you determine is an article is indeed peer reviewed. 

Peer Review in 3 Minutes

This video explains the peer review process of scholarly articles.


Scholarly vs Popular

Our Scholarly vs Popular chart shows additional characteristics of scholarly articles.

The video Scholarly and Popular Sources shares more about the differences between scholarly and popular sources. (Carnegie Vincent Library) 4:11


Questions to Consider:

  1. What are the two main forms of scholarly sources?
  2. Who normally writes scholarly sources and how do these authors differ from writers of popular sources?
  3. What types of images, if any, are included in scholarly articles?
  4. What is a major goal of scholarly sources?