The Research Process

Coming Up with a Research Strategy: Types of Sources

As you seek to find answers to your research question, think about the types of “voices” you need to hear from.

Scientists/researchers who have conducted their own research studies? They can provide data.

Scholars/thinkers/writers who have also looked at your topic and offered their own analyses on it?

Journalists who are reporting on what they have observed?

Journalists/newspaper or magazine authors who are providing their educated opinions on your topic?

Personal stories of individuals who have lived through an event? Such stories offer raw, first hand evidence.

Blog posts/tweets/other social media posts?

Any of these (and more) could be useful in helping you to answer your research question. These sources can be categorized as popular, scholarly, primary, secondary or tertiary. The next two chapters will define what those types of sources are.