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W131: English Composition: Types of Resources


     There are a wide variety of types of resources to use.  Each one serves a specific purpose.  When you know the purpose, you can select the right type of resource to find the type of data you seek.

When to Use Which Resource


     Information is "current" and "non-current."  "Current" is a relative term.  It may mean 1-7 days, a month, six weeks, a year, or 3-5 years, etc.  This depends upon your topic and what your professor has determined.  "Non-current" is whatever time period your professor has decided as old.

     Periodicals, i.e., magazines, journals and newspapers, are current resources.  They are published daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, and quarterly.  In other words, they are published at least twice within a year.

     Most books take about a year or longer to be published.  Books can be "current" or "non-current" resources.  It depends upon the topic.

     Electronic resources may be considered "current" if they are updated, regularly.


     The popular library resource types are:

          General Circulating Books

          Reference Books, e.g.
          Encyclopedias and


          Journals, Magazines and



     GENERAL CIRCULATING BOOKS can be general  about a topic or specific about aspects of a topic.

     REFERENCE BOOKS such as encyclopedias and almanacs contain lots of data.  Encyclopedias consist of facts with some elaboration.  Almanacs give only the facts.

     DATABASES may or may not be full text.  Therefore, the information may or may not be immediately accessible.  Graphics that substantiate facts may be copied and pasted into a research paper.

     JOURNALS, MAGAZINES AND NEWSPAPERS provide current information.  The journal articles are well researched and verified.  Magazine articles are broad in scope and not scholarly.  Various newspapers contain information about local, regional, national and international topics.  The topics are of current interest to its readers.

     WEBSITES have information that is quickly accessible; but it may be difficult to verify.


Types of Resources

Subject Guide

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Libré Booker
(219) 980-6547

Where to Find the Resources

with Call Numbers A-HF
Second Floor

with Call Numbers HG-Z
Third Floor

Current (1-2 Years Old) Magazines and Journals
First Floor

First Floor

Older Magazines and Journals  Second Floor

Reference Books
First Floor--Ready Reference
Second Floor--Reference