How many / what type of sources do I use?

Keep in mind that since everyone is designing his own project (with different goals / deliverables), the types of research each person does will vary. If you have any questions about what type of research is appropriate for your particular project, please consult me.

While I expect that you will consult many, many more sources, you must incorporate a minimum of 5 secondary sources in your research project (this is in addition to any primary sources–films, novels, short stories, etc.–you may be using).  Make sure that you use a variety of resources, and try to have sources from the following categories (and use current/up-to-date information when relevant):

  • Recent scholarly books in print: chapters and/or excerpts are acceptable
  • Recent scholarly articles found in online journals through the City Tech (and/or CUNY) Library databases
  • Recent texts (articles, essays, editorials, interviews, etc.) from other non-book print sources (newspapers, magazines, etc.)
  • Texts (articles, essays, editorials, interviews) from reliable online sources (this means you must know where there information is coming from and if it is accurate/reliable!)
  • Media (advertisements, cartoons, artwork, TV shows, films, music, etc.)
  • Other (ex: fiction, interviews, surveys, etc.)

Make sure to keep track of all bibliographic information as you do your research (citations should be in MLA style). Also, check out the bibliography/references of the sources you use … looking over what sources other researchers have used is a great way to find additional relevant material for your own project.

This site has some helpful information on evaluating print sources:

And here’s one on evaluating WWW sources:

If you are uncertain about the “reliability” of a source, you should consult me, a librarian, or the Learning Center.