Printed sources will have certain types of publication information that electronic sources may not. Look for the following to help determine if your source has a print equivalent:
Search for an article in a library database, or use the other resources listed to locate your publication.
Access information about newspapers, magazines, and journals published throughout the world, covering all subjects.
Note: Ulrich’s will tell you if a source is in print, but not if your specific article is in print. To verify this, search library databases for the specific article. You can start with the databases mentioned above.
Often you will find newspaper articles on the internet through credible sources such as the New York Times. Just because you find it on a newspaper’s website does not mean that every article has a print version. Use this database for electronic access to print newspapers from the United States, ranging from local to national.
Note: Some newspapers and magazines delay online access for anywhere between one day and several weeks. If you’re looking for something very recent, you may need to find the print copies which are available at the Undergraduate Library and other libraries on campus.
What is the source trying to do?
How does is sound?
What is the context?
What are the sources?
Is it real?
Bias is an inevitable part of all writing but it is important to be aware of how it might color the information a writer is presenting. In general, it is best for academic writing to avoid explicit bias.
However, there is a place for consideration of consciously subjective writing. Editorials, blogs, and other less-scholarly sources can be useful for getting a sense of how regular people feel about an issue.
There are organizations devoted to exposing bias in media. For example, FAIR is a "national media watch group...offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986." Click here to read more tips from FAIR on detecting bias.
What is the Information Cycle? (Accessible View)
The Information Cycle is the progression of media coverage of a particular newsworthy event. Understanding the information cycle will help you better know what information is available on your topic and better evaluate information sources covering that topic.
After an event, information about that event becomes available in a pattern similar to this:
THE DAY OF: Television, Social Media, and the Web (ex: CNN, Twitter, blogs)
THE WEEK OF: Newspapers (ex. New York Times, Chicago Tribune)
THE WEEK AFTER: Magazines (ex. Time, National Geographic)
MONTHS AFTER: Academic/Scholarly Journals (ex. The American Political Science Review, Journal of American Medical Association)
A YEAR AFTER & LATER: Books, Government Publications, and Reference Collections (Popular Titles, encyclopedias, government reports)