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Literacy and APA Resources

Is it an article? Is it a book? Is it credible?

 

 

GENERALLY CREDIBLE

Fact-based, peer-reviewed, primary research, minimal bias

Seek out!

 

CREDIBILITY CAN VARY WIDELY

May have biases, financial interests, agendas

Research source more!

 

GENERALLY NOT CREDIBLE

Agenda-driven, limited facts, opinion-based, highly biased

Avoid!

Types of Resources

 

JOURNAL

A periodical that informs its readers about advances and news in a particular subject area,

like nursing or architecture. There are scholarly journals and peer-reviewed journals, which

claim to have their articles vetted by professionals in a particular field, thus making them

credible.

 

WHITE PAPER

An authoritative report that informs readers about a complex issue and presents the issuing

body's philosophy on the matter. It is meant to help readers understand an issue, solve a 

problem, or make a decision.

 

CORPORATE/GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT

A presentation of facts and collected data that should be credible.

LEGISLATION

Law enacted by a legislature, which can be verified, and, therefore, is credible.

COURT DECISION

A legal action that determines the rights and liabilities of parties involved in a court

proceeding, which can be verified, and, therefore, is credible.

DISSERTATION/THESIS

Usually required for an advanced academic degree; it presents the author's research 

with lengthy exposition of a topic; content is vetted by academic committee and is credible.

 

PERIODICALS

Published on a regular basis (periodically). This could be a newspaper, journal, book series,

or proceedings from meetings of government and professional organizations. Also called

a "serial."

 

NEWSPAPER

Local or national reporting of news-worthy items. Newspaper articles are summaries of 

original content published in other formats, and, thus, susceptible to misinterpretation. It

is best to find the original publication.

 

BOOK (NON-FICTION)

Content published one time. If it is popular, the contents can be updated and published in 

a new edition. More time is spent editing and qualifying the book content than in other types 

of publications, so, depending upon the bias of the publisher, books are a credible resource.

AUDIO/VISUAL MEDIA (NON-FICTION/DOCUMENTARY)

Documentaries can be objective (good resource) or biased (can be useful if the bias 

is pointed out).

 

MAGAZINE

Sometimes used interchangeably with "journal", but in higher education, a magazine is

considered a vehicle for selling products- not for informing its readers about advances

in a certain profession. Magazines are identified by their many pages of advertisements

and short, one-pages articles, with little useful content.

 

INTERNET WEBSITES/BLOGS

Content found on the internet can be posted by anyone anonymously, and without

verification; unless effort is made to find original documents, this information is suspect.

Created by Deb Johnson and Clay Chiarelott, 2017.

Mercy College of Ohio Library |  419-251-1700  | email: library@mercycollege.edu