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A helpful guide offering resources on writing, grammar, and citation.


An excellent place to find new information sources about your topic is in the Reference or Bibliography lists of relevant articles and textbooks. If your library location does not have a specific resource, we can help you locate it, even outside of West Coast University.
Tip: bibliographies can indicate the titles of journals and/or articles where you may find more information on the same topic.

Assignment Guidelines

What resources are needed to complete your assignment?

  • Articles from scholarly, peer-reviewed journals?
  • Books and/or eBooks?
  • Information from government agencies or professional associations?
  • Do the sources need to be primary sources or can you use secondary sources?

Class Resources

Your required and recommended textbooks and readings are great resources about your subject! Also, note the authors of these resources and seek out additional publications by them to supplement your research.

Scholarly Vs. Popular

Most assignments will require scholarly or academic sources. What qualifies as a scholarly source and how you can tell the difference between scholarly sources and popular sources?

Need help to determine if the resource qualifies as a scholarly resource? Consult with a Library staff member.

Evaluating Websites

What's in a name? The domain name (main part of the website) includes the registered website title and a period followed by a three character extension. These extensions can provide insight into the credibility of the website:


  • .gov -  site is run by a governmental organization.
  • .edu - site is run by an educational institution.
  • .org - site is run by a non-profit organization. Beware that any type of "non-profit" organization can acquire these domain name extensions.
  • .com - site is run by a company or a corporation.  The content may be designed by an educational institution, but the site itself is run by a commercial company.

Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources

Be careful when using secondary and tertiary sources because the further you get from the original primary source, the more opportunities have existed to slant the information, misinterpret the findings, or otherwise alter the information.

Professional Publications

Professional or trade publications may be scholarly publications, but they may not be. These publications are written by people in a given field for other professionals within the same field. They often contain jargon and information that is not intended to be easily understood by people who are not a part of that field. Though the same degree of professional knowledge and expertise may go into the composition of trade publications, the information in these publications is not necessarily peer-reviewed or useful in academic research. Examples of these publications include best practices information, manuals, and organizational newsletters.

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