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Getting Started in MTC Library

A guide for students at Midlands Technical College Library

Types of Information Sources

Before you begin your research, it is important to consider the different types of information sources that are out there. The more you know about them, the easier it will be to determine which type(s) of information will be best for a particular project.


Newspapers can provide local, national, and international coverage about current events or topics.

  • Good sources for information about current or historical events and opinion pieces.
  • Accessible in print or online.
  • Some news articles are freely available online, but articles that require subscriptions may be available through MTC Library's website.

Magazines are useful for finding information on popular topics or for entertainment and are aimed towards general readers.

  • Have eye-catching pictures or images and advertisements.
  • The text is aimed towards general readers and doesn't have citations or footnotes.

Articles in professional or trade journals are aimed towards professionals in a particular industry, and the articles focus on topics related to that industry.

  • Professional or trade journals are not strictly research-related or peer-reviewed.
  • They may contain research articles, reports, and practical articles applicable to the profession.
  • They will often contain advertisements for items related to the professions they address.

Articles in scholarly or academic journals are written by scholars or subject experts and are usually research-based. The articles often go through a peer-review process that ensures their reliability.

  • There are no pictures or advertisements.
  • The text is more academic in nature and the author provides citations or footnotes to let the reader know where they found their information.
  • Scholarly articles are accessible through MTC Library's website.

Books are long-format resources that can provide comprehensive information on all sorts of topics.

Internet sources are convenient for finding background information on unfamiliar topics.

  • Don't forget to check the quality of the information before including web sources in your research.

The Information Life Cycle

What is the Information Cycle?

The information cycle refers to how information evolves over time, particularly in terms of media coverage of an event or subject. Familiarity with the information cycle can aid in identifying the type of information that can be expected on a given topic.






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