When doing academic research you are joining a "conversation" among scholars, who publish their works in scholarly books and journals. College level work requires use of information from "scholarly," NOT "popular" publications:
- DO USE: Scholarly articles & books written by scholars and experts, published in academic journals or books published by university presses, and reviewed by other scholars. They present original research or new approaches (Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Journal of American Medical Assoc.).
- DON'T USE: Popular articles written by journalists & published in popular magazines/newspapers for the general public (Architectural Digest, Time magazine, Rolling Stone)
It can help in developing a research topic to look at general overviews first in reference books or other resources. Citations and bibliographies can lead you to respected authors in the field, and other books, articles, or websites.