Chapter 8: Gathering Research and Establishing Evidence

When to Use Popular Sources

This depends on your assignment, but if you are permitted to use popular sources, there are excellent sources like newspapers, personal interviews and government reports that will help you advance your own argument. Sources, such as magazines and newspapers, are very useful for current commentary on a topic or issue. Governments and organizations such as large non-profit charities, release reports and data on a regular basis. The Canadian Census is one great example of the type of information you can access for free from government websites. Investigative journalist reports and organizations, like the YMCA, often release in-depth pieces on current issues such as poverty levels in large cities and provide data and analysis. All of these types of documents can be excellent sources of information with up-to-date statistics and analysis. However, you must also be aware that some newspapers, blogs and non-government organizations, such as policy think-tanks, have specific political viewpoints that you will have to be aware of. It is up to you to evaluate whether or not to use a popular source in your assignment.


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