Exploring Source Types

Learning Outcome

After completing this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Recognize cues within sources to identify their source type.

To identify the correct APA citation elements needed for your reference list citation, you first need to know what type of source you have. Looking at a source’s visual cues and descriptions from a library catalogue or database can help you figure this out.

Now that so many sources are online, it can be a bit confusing figuring out a source’s type. To help, we will go through some examples of source types and cues to look for together.

Image of pyramid titled "Scholarly and Popular Sources" with examples displayed on either side of the pyramid and an arrow beside labelled more popular at the base of the pyramid and more scholarly at the top. Peer-reviewed journal articles, academic books, conference papers, and theses and dissertations are at the top; newsletters, non-fiction, trade journals, and documentaties in the center; and fiction and social media are at the bottom.


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APA Style Citation Tutorial Copyright © 2020 by University of Alberta Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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