Strategy: Consider Types of Information
Information may be delivered in a variety of formats: books, articles, pamphlets, reports, social media and more. Understanding format categories, characteristics, and production cycles will help you to choose the best source for your needs.
Information types differ in many ways, including:
- Tone & Formality casual or specialized language
- Purpose persuade, inform, sell, entertain
- Form & Distribution book, article, tweet, print, digital, fee based, free
- Authorship & Editorial Process self published, editorial review, peer review
- Audience popular, professional, scholarly
Source Examples & Typical Characteristics
Consider the Information LifeCycle
The information life cycle describes the circulation of information and media coverage following a newsworthy event. Considering the time needed to create and distribute information formats can help you determine what information you are likely to find about your topic.
See the example timeline of coverage of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
The Day of an Event: Social Media
The Day After an Event: News papers and media
The Week or Weeks After an Event: Weekly Popular Magazines and New Magazines
Six Months to a Year or More After an Event: Academic, Scholarly Journals
A Year to Years After an Event: Scholarly Books
A Year to Years After an Event: Government Reports