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Research Help

This guide is a tutorial covering the basics of the academic research process.

Where to Search?


When it comes to research, there are multiple choices available to you. Your professor may ask you to use only certain types of sources in your research. However, you will need to understand how to determine the type of source you are using. 




The following table gives an overview of scholarly/academic sources, trade journals, news sources, and books.


Professional Journals

Popular Magazines

Trade Publications



Sample Cover Journal of Management cover Psychology Today cover People Management cover New York Times logo Advanced Methods in Distance Education cover

Article Type

in-depth research articles, often peer reviewed; formal; presents data, original research or experiments

brief, nontechnical, current events, news, quick facts; to provide general information, entertain, or persuade the general public

product reviews, industry statistics, news publications, patents, news for practitioners 

provides up-to-date current information about local, national, or world news

provides a broad overview of a topic. or presents an in-depth focus on a particular subject


researchers, specialists, experts

not always identified, staff writers

not always identified, staff writers, practitioners

staff writers

often will be written by experts with significant knowledge


academics, professionals, students


practitioners, trade professionals

general audience

general, professional, or academic audiences

Reference List/
Works Cited

almost always






tables, graphs, charts, or equations 

often includes glossy photographs, ads, images

black-and-white or color images, graphs, or charts

black-and-white or color images, graphs, or charts

may include black-and-white or color images, graphs, or charts