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Start Your Research Here!: Alternative Sources (Apps, videos, tweets, blogs, etc.)

Alternative Sources: Why is this Important?

Alternative sources, such as Blogs, Twitter, Podcasts, Apps, etc., can give us an immediate updates on situations, but the information can be TRUE AND ACCURATE OR BIASED, INCORRECT, AND JUST PLAIN WRONG! For example, scientists can share their research without waiting to publish it or someone can post an opinion that's completely wrong and untrue.

Alternative Sources (e.g., Blogs, Twitter, Podcasts, Apps, etc.) may add a novel piece of information to your research paper or project,


Can I use Alternative Sources for my Projects?

See the Evaluating Resources Section of this Guide to help you evaluate the validity of your source


Web Logs are written in an informal/conversational style and can be created by anyone. They are usually updated regularly and tend to be personal diaries/journals, ‘How to’ and informational blogs (i.e. recipes) and Business or corporate for promotional purposes.


TWITTER is a free social media service launched in 2008 - Tweets =140-character messages and is an easy way to discover the latest news related to subjects/people. The ‘follow’ Platform enables you to relay your message to thousands in real-time, and news often breaks on twitter.

There are millions of videos freely available via the Internet. These may be professionally produced, made at home, and vary in quality and value. BEFORE you use a video for academic or personal use, make sure you EVALUATE the quality of its information. 

A valid form of research is to email an author for comments or clarification, but use this kind of source sparsely and do not include it in the Reference list (you will want to note it in an in-text citation in your paper).
Instagram Instagram is great for sharing photos and updates about personal or business interests. Before using a photo, investigate its copyright policy to discover if you can use it in a paper or project.
Facebook Typically Facebook is for sharing photos, ideas, opinions, and personal updates. Unless you are writing a paper about Facebook, avoid using it for academic papers and projects.


Podcasts are similar to blogs and are easy for individuals without specialized knowledge to produce.  Many radio broadcasting networks produce podcasts (such as NPR), and these are a great way to gain information if you don’t don’t have time to read.

Mobile Apps

An app is a type of software that can be installed and run on a computer, tablet, smartphone, or other electronic device. Most apps have a specific and narrow function. There are millions of apps available in many categories such as shopping, businesses, productivity, scheduling, and more.

To help you cite these kinds of resources, visit our Writing and Citing Guide or check with your Campus Academic Dean, Academic Coach, Instructor, or Librarian. 

Citation and Writing Assistance

Citation and Writing Assistance 

This guide provides tools to assist you with your writing process, including helping you cite in APA format. If you have any questions and want advice, please contact a Campus Academic Dean, Academic Coach, the Librarian, or consult with your instructor about the correct format for your paper. is available 24/7  to Connect with a Tutor; Drop off an essay for review and feedback within 12 hours
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