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SOAN 300.8 - Community Based Research Project


News outlets serve multiple functions. They will give you clues on what the general public thinks about the issues. They are also good sources to find stories from people in similar circumstances that you can use to add context to your arguments. 

Why use these sources:

  • News sources are the most likely places you are going to find information about what is actually going on in and around where they are from. 
  • Newspapers are going to provide the most up-to-date information that we have about the situation. 
  • Newspapers are designed to give in-depth details as opposed to broad overviews in reports and even academic articles. 

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Where was the story published? 
    • Both location and publisher
  • Who is telling the story? 
  • How did the journalist get their information? 
  • Can you find the original article?  

Some tips:

  • Multiple publications may cover the same story, or use the same information. If you find information in one source, check to see where else it was covered. 
    • Sources local to their homes may have more details, but US national papers, like the New York Times, could have more weight with Judges. Weigh all of the pros and cons when choosing which story to include. 
  • Look to see if you can find the origins of claims made in newspaper articles. This will not only help you evaluate the credibility of the article you have found, but it could lead you to other resources that could help your case. 


Online News Sources