Skip to Main Content

Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

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. The web is full of different source types that contribute different perspectives to the conversation, some more scholarly than others.

Instructions: Look at the source assigned to your group, and consider:

  • Who is the author? (Find more information)
  • What type of publication is this? (Find more information)
  • Who is the intended audience of this source?
  • What type of writing is this? (Look at format and language)
  • 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?





Links for Class

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.