Books are good for general background and in-depth coverage of a topic. They are often not as current as journal articles because they take a long time to research, write, and publish.
Books may be useful when:
Books may not be useful when:
Articles tend to be narrow in scope and are good for focused treatment of a topic. Scholarly journals contain high-quality articles usually written by experts and use data and statistics to back arguments. Popular magazines and newspapers (such as Newsweek, People, or the New York Times) are good for current treatment of a topic and are good resources for editorials and opinions. Note that popular magazines are not peer-reviewed.
Articles may be useful when:
Articles may not be useful when:
Web sites can be very good for finding quality information including primary sources, statistical information, educational sites on many levels, policy, opinion of all kinds, and much more. However, you have to take the responsibility to rigorously evaluate each site for quality; anyone can post a Web page, regardless of their expertise or intentions.