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Writing 100 (Lanser) Discipline Awareness Assignment

Find Information about a Discipline, its Researchers & Trends

Why Is It Important to Know About Source Types?

Different types of sources will give you different types of information.

For example, if you need background information, you might look in an encyclopedia article, or a book. If you need to find in-depth analysis of a particular aspect of your discipline, you might look in a scholarly article.

When you look at a source, consider:

  • who is the audience?
  • what type of content is being conveyed?
  • is this a scholarly source?
  • is this source reputable?



Look at the three sources below. While they all can give you information about a topic, they all approach it differently. Which one would help you find:

  • background about the history of college majors?
  • in-depth criticism of the concept of majors?
  • links to more information about types of majors?
  • original research exploring issues related to college majors?


Wikipedia is an encyclopedia-style source that includes background information and links. It is easily updated and often changes quickly.

News / Magazine Articles

News, magazine, and web articles come in lots of different styles / levels of seriousness. Established sources like older papers and magazines can provide deep dives into timely topics that have to do with your discipline.

Scholarly Article

Scholarly articles take a deep look at particular topics. They assume that readers are scholars or students in their fields.