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Research With Non-Scholarly Internet Resources: Home

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Non Scholarly Online Sources

This page will discuss methods for properly using non-scholarly sources in your essays and projects. Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, aggregators like Google News, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Reddit, and 4chan, as well as blogs and personal interviews all fall into this category and all, under the right circumstances, can be included in your essays, projects, and presentations.

Should You Include These Sources?

It really depends on your professor, class, and assignment. This page discusses how to use information found through non-scholarly websites that you use more frequently in your personal lives and that have extremely up to date info. It’s important to know that a website you love or trust might not be one your professor finds acceptable. Even a website reporting accurate information might still be unacceptable as far as your assignment is concerned. Unless your professor prefers only academic, scholarly, or peer-reviewed articles then you can use resources you find on the internet, in many forms and from many places. But you MUST be able to defend the legitimacy of those sources. This page will discuss, and tell you how to properly use, many common internet sources that aren’t scholarly. If you’re using any of these, just remember to do it carefully.


The point is:


Proceed With Caution


The websites listed here are not Scholarly, Academic, or Peer-Reviewed, which means three things:


  1. If your professor asked for those, you can’t use these.
  2. They include opinions and biases which come from the websites themselves, your past usage and internet preferences, and often both. You need to be prepared to navigate these opinions and biases, to verify the legitimacy of your sources and defend them, and to understand if your professor will not accept them.
  3. If you have any doubts about the page you're on or if it’s a good source, it’s probably not.

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