Writing Guides: Finding and Using Sources

Choosing Sources

Choosing Sources: 

  • Use books/ebooks
  • Use the library databases
  • Using Google to find credible websites
  • Using the Deep Web (defined below)
  • Using articles found physically or not in databases

Using Articles NOT in the Library Databases

Often times you will be able to find what you need in the library databases. Sometimes, however, you will find a reference to something not available online or on campus. When that happens please come to the library - do not pay $40 for an article! We can probably find another library that has what you will need through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) or Summit.

You can find citations for this sort of article from a variety of places:

The Deep Web

The Deep Web is part of the World Wide Web that is not discoverable by means of standard search engines.

Or, information that is not easily found on Google or from other search engines. These are often specialty sites or ones that are behind a "paywall", in other words, to access them, you must pay a fee. The databases listed in the A-Z databases site is one, Warner Pacific pays a fee to allow students access to such articles.

Using the Library Catalog to Find Books

Finding books in the library catalog:

  1. Go to https://alliance-warnerpacific.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/discovery/search?vid=01ALLIANCE_WPC:WPC
  2. Type a keyword in the search box; single words will give you more results, but phrases may help you find a couple specific sources. 
  3. Notice the results. Green "online access" or "Available at" means you can access the book through Warner Pacific online or on campus. An Dark Gray "Check Availability" note means you will have to request for the book to be sent to you from another university. 
  4. The Green "Available at" will be followed by the location of the book, including the call number - this is where to find the book within the library. 
  5. Click on the title and you will be taken to a page with more detailed information on the title. 

Using Databases to Find Articles

Articles will usually have some of the most current (or new) credible information about your topic, and many are easily available through the library databases. All you need is that list of keywords, an internet connection, and a computer. 

Popular databases include:

Evaluating Sources

Evaluating your sources means judging whether your source is accurate, factual, and unbiased. Using poor sources can result in poor grades, so it is a good idea to be careful with them. 

There are a couple good methods for evaluating sources:

  1. CRAAP Method
    1. Currency: the timeliness of the information
    2. Relevancy: the importance of the information for your needs
    3. Authority: the source of the information
    4. Accuracy: the reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content
    5. Purpose: the reason the information exists
  2. CARS Method
    1. Credibility
    2. Accuracy
    3. Reasonableness
    4. Support

Purdue OWL also offers a more in depth process of evaluating your sources.

Using Google

Problems with Using Google:

  • Too many results
  • Results that give false or overly biased information
  • Organizations can pay to have their results more highly ranked
  • Top results are the most popular, not the most accurate

How to Use Google Effectively