Books, journals, newspapers, magazines

For your assignments, you'll typically consult and cite a mix of books, journals, newspapers and magazines. Knowing the difference will help you determine the most relevant and useful sources for your assignment.


Journals, newspapers and magazines

In-depth and broad examination of a topic. May be in-depth -- usually on a specific topic.
Longer lag between an event or discovery and a book's publication. As a result...
  • More complete information (causes, effects, long-term consequences, fuller conclusions, etc.).
  • Deeper analysis.
  • Broader historical perspective; more context both within and outside of a discipline.
Cover recent developments and events with little time lapse. As a result...
  • Information is current but may be incomplete.
  • Captures "the spirit of the moment" (especially newspapers and magazines).
  • Journals are important for reporting fast-paced, competitive or time-sensitive research.
Contain original research that may cover multiple experiments or span several years. Journals contain original research and typically focus on one experiment; newspapers and magazines may refer to research studies, but do not contain original research.
More cumulative coverage of a topic. Limited coverage without much historical overview or context.
Longer: 100 to several hundred pages. Shorter: a few hundred words (newspaper articles) up to around 30 pages (journal articles).
Published once, though revised editions may come out later. Composed of volumes and issues published regularly.