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English 160 &161: Introduction to Library Research

Evaluation Activity

Research is a conversation in which you engage with, interpret, synthesize and challenge different sources, ultimately adding your own voice to the conversation. We have access to a variety of source types that contribute different perspectives to the conversation, some more scholarly than others.

Instructions: Examine the source assigned to your group, and consider:

  • Who is the author? (Find more information)
  • What type of publication/writing is this? (Look at format and language)
  • Who is the intended audience of this source?
  • Does the author admit bias or seem committed to a viewpoint, and is that OK?

Based on this information, discuss with your group (and try to come to a consensus) whether your source might be useful for a research paper.  Why/why not? If you would use it, *how* would you use it?





Primary Sources

What is a Primary Source?
A primary source is material that was created at the time being studied.  It can be a document, a recording or an artifact.  It serves as an original source of information about the topic. Primary sources are distinguished from secondary sources which usually are analysis, commentary or a filtered account of the topic. 

Types of primary sources (might also work as search terms for finding primary resources in the library catalog or Summon):

  • Film/video clips
  • Personal narrative: autobiographies, memoirs
  • Audio recordings
  • Artwork
  • Photographs
  • Historical newspapers or magazines

Tools for finding Primary Sources:

Newspaper Research Guide

Use this link to access UIC Library's newspaper research guide and search for current newspaper articles (primary sources) on your topic.