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WAK ENG 098: Introduction to College Writing: Types of Sources

College-Level Sources

Types of Sources

Types of sources and their purpose   Websites can be personal, corporate, or informational.   Newspapers report on current events and news. Written for a general audience  Magazines contain articles that report news or trends.  Trade journals contain articles that report on topics and events in a specific industry. Written for professionals in a certain field.   Scholarly journals contain articles that report research. Report original research.  Books provide extensive coverage of one topic or theme.

Scholarly vs. Popular

We've learned that different sources are created with different audiences in mind to fulfill different purposes. Taking time to consider a source's author, audience, and purpose will help you understand the information shared in the source and use it appropriately. Complete the activity below to practice differentiating popular and scholarly source types based on their author, audience, and purpose.

1. Review Example Sources

Without reading or watching each source in full, review the 5 source examples below. Make note of details that point to each source's author, audience, and purpose.

Tip: Each example link will open in a new window. Once you've opened all the sources, compare them. What are the similarities and differences in the ways the sources are formatted and made available?

Research Article

News Source 1

Textbook Chapter

News Source 2

Webpage

2. Complete the Drag-and-drop Source Spectrum Activity

After you've decided where each example source falls on the Source Spectrum, Arrange the source tiles on the spectrum. Once you're satisfied with how you ordered the examples sources from popular to scholarly, check your answer for feedback.

3. Reflect

Discuss or reflect on the following questions:

  • What evidence did you find in the example sources that helped you decide where these sources go on the spectrum?
  • How could you use News Source 2 and the Research article from the examples above in a college-level paper?