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Writing 10 (Xu): Selecting Sources

College Reading & Composition

A Perfect Source? NCSC Libraries

Questions to Consider:

  1. Can it be helpful to break your topic into sub-topics when searching? (T/F)
  2. How can you optimize your search?
  3. To complete your argument, you may need to use ____________ resource types?
  4. Instead of finding the perfect all-in-one-article, what are you trying to do with the information you locate?

Strategies for Selecting Your Sources


  1. Read the abstract or summary.  Get a quick sense of whether or not the source might be useful.
  2. Follow leads.  Use a relevant source and its citations to locate other sources on the same topic.
  3. Quilt your information together.  If you're not finding information that exactly matches your topic, use pieces of information from sources that are related.