Skip to Main Content

KINE 202 Course Guide

Background Source Introduction

Background research is a huge category that includes anything that is not scholarly, peer-reviewed research. Popular sources make up the majority of this content, but there are also more authoritative information sources we can consult in our background research phase. You can see the distinctions between these 2 source types (authoritative and popular) below.

Background source types

What are authoritative sources?

  • written by reputable national or international organizations or government agencies
  • written for the general public
  • Purpose: to inform or educate
  • usually include evidence for their claims 
  • can be detailed, informational webpages or government/institutional reports

What are some examples?


Search Tips

  • Be flexible with your keywords!
  • You may need to broaden your topic to find relevant authoritative sources. For example, I may need to expand my topic of yoga and depression to alternative medicine and depression if I can't find any relevant authoritative sources.


Advanced Google Searching

  • Use advanced google searching to limit results by a domain (.gov or .org) or by a particular website (
Search in Google Explanation
yoga depression Only returns results from government websites
yoga depression Only returns results from websites with the domain ending .org
yoga depression Only returns results from the National Institute of Health website

What are popular sources?

  • written by a non-expert, journalist, or community member
  • written for the general public
  • can be opinion or unsupported facts 
  • can be narrative 

How do I find them?

Any Google search on your topic. News articles, websites, and blogs all count!

What are some examples?

  • Newspaper articles
  • Magazine articles
  • Health-related websites that are not reliable/authoritative
  • Blogs
  • General Websites that are not reliable/authoritative
  • Most of what you find on the Internet!