Understanding the different types of information sources, and the purposes of each, can help you determine whether you should use the information for a research paper. The formats generally fall within 3 main categories: Popular, Trade/Professional and Scholarly. Review the chart below to understand the features of each.
Remember, all categories of sources can be found in print and digital media. There are both print and digital collections of popular, trade and scholarly sources. The place (for example, a library or a computer) you find a source does not necessarily define the type of source it is.