Whether you are new to academic research or a seasoned scholar, you must decide on what kind of information will be most useful for your project. It may help to remember the five types by the “PARCKS” acronym. This stands for popular (P), authoritative (A), reference (R), common knowledge (CK), and scholarly (S).
Popular sources are written for the everyday reader, not for scholars. Newspapers and magazines are prime examples. While they may not be the best for serious research, they can be useful guides to take the pulse of society.
Authoritative sources provide data such as statistics and government policies. These sources can be excellent when you need primary sources.
Common knowledge refers to facts that are commonly accepted and well-known. You may need this only when it is a vital part of a thesis. Refer to common knowledge sparingly and do not bother with citations.
Scholarly sources are the crown jewels of the academic world. Typically these sources take form as a peer-reviewed monograph or journal article. Search for these gems in the TCCD Library databases.
You can learn more about how to use PARCKS and the related databases by visiting the LibGuide: https://libguides.tccd.edu/PARCKS
(This post was written by Public Services Librarian Daniel F. Flores, PhD)
In SE Library
Mary Rowlandson? The influence of Texas on US Foreign Policy? Antebellum primary documents supporting slavery?
Just three of the recent “tough ones” Southeast librarians have been asked to help with at the Reference Desk. If your professor has you running in obscure loops for arcane references, come by and have a chat with the librarians. Even if our collection doesn’t have much on your topic, we’ll work hard to point you toward databases, web sources, or even other library collections in the area to get the information you need.
And if you find yourself at wit’s end — have a chat with your professor! They need to know if SE library is weak in the topic they’ve assigned, and they might just show you a little mercy for having tried so hard.
In SE Library