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LANG 1002 - English for University Studies I : Information Sources

Periodicals as Information Sources

  • Periodicals are published at regular time periods:  daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly.
  • They include journals, magazines and newspapers.
    • Journals publish in-depth academic, scholarly research papers
    • Magazines and newspapers usually contain shorter, general interest articles. They are mostly popular and easy to understand.
  • Each periodical issue consists of a collection of articles.

Scholarly Journal


Times Magazine


New York Times

  1. Gillette, B. (2018). Artificial intelligence a game changer for the practice of law. Mississippi Business Journal, 40(24), 10-11.
  2. Bhanot, S. (2012). Use of Social Media by Companies to Reach their Customers. SIES Journal Of Management, 8(1), 47-55.
  1. Koebler, J. (2013, January). Google Glass Unlikely to Be Game Changer in 2013. U.S.News & World Report. Retrieved from
  2. Furfie, B. (2010). Is the iPad a game changerEngineering and Technology, 5(4), 34-35.
  1. Osawa, J., & Mozur, P. (2013, Oct 10). A global war of messaging apps --- china's WeChat and japan's line are spreading quickly, threatening silicon valley firms. Wall Street Journal, pp. B5.
  2. Jansen, B. (2017, Nov 17). Airport game-changer: 3-D scanners.. USA Today, pp. A.1.
Audience Scholars, researchers, students General Public General Public
Author/Writer Academics, researchers, scholars 

Qualifications or credentials of the authors usually appear near the names or in the footnote/endnote.
Reporters/journalists, freelance writers Reporters/journalists, freelance writers, general public
Publisher Professional societies, university press, commercial publishers, e.g., IEEE Commercial publishers, e.g., Time, Inc. Commercial publishers, e.g., Dow Jones & Co.
Article Length Long Usually short, half to several pages Usually short, several paragraphs
Coverage In-depth research in a specialized subject area Topics of general interest, someone who is not an expert can understand Usually current affairs, daily news, social issues
Format Structure Article title, authors and their qualifications and affiliations, abstract (article summary), research methodologies and references Article title, authors often listed Headline, authors usually not known
Statistics/Figures/Tables Primary research findings (those done by the authors) are included in charts, tables, etc. May quote statistics/figures/tables from other sources May quote statistics/figures/tables from other sources
Quality Control Contents are peer-reviewed (revised according to comments from subject experts in the field before publication) Contents approved by editors Contents approved by editors
References/Bibliography Arguments, claims and conclusions are always supported by evidence, sources consulted are listed in the end of paper reference/bibliography section May quote data from other other sources to support writing, but reference list/bibliography is usually not included May quote data from other other sources to support writing, but reference list/bibliography is usually not included


Evaluate Information Sources

Why should one evaluate information? Published information must be true, right?

  • There are many different publication channels and now almost anyone can publish opinions and data online; for examples, wikis, youtube videos, personal blogs or microblogs.
  • Just because something is published does not make it accurate or trustworthy or suitable for your needs.
  • Always evaluate the reliability, suitability and usability of a piece of information by looking at: Author, Timeliness, Content Coverage and Publication Motives

Author (Who)

  • Who is the author (there may be more than one author)?
  • Is the author's qualification or credential shown?
  • Is the author associated with a reputable institution or organization?

Timeliness (When)

  • When was the artice written/published?
  • Would the subject matter change with time? Is the most current information always the best?

Content & Coverage (What)

  • What is the main purpose of this piece of information?
  • Are the claims/conclusions/viewpoints supported by evidence?
  • Are the arguments logical?
  • How deep and wide is the topic covered: General background information? Research oriented, highly scientific and specific? Quick news report? Level of scholarship?


  • Based on the above observations, does the article provide reliable information? Is this suitable for the writing project of this course?
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