"1. knowledge communicated or received concerning a particular fact or circumstance; 2. knowledge gained through study, communication, research, instruction, etc." (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/information)
Information includes both facts and opinions. We are constantly bombarded by information through television, the Internet, newspapers, billboards, conversations, etc. What is important is how we use information and how it becomes meaningful to us.
"1. someone or something that provides what is wanted or needed; 2. the cause of something (such as a problem) 3. a person, book, etc., that gives information" (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/source)
In academic writing, sources are the materials from which the writer gathers information. It is important that you evaluate the sources of your information to be sure that each source is accurate, relevant, current, objective, and authoritative. For more information on evaluating resources, visit the Evaluating Resources tab on this guide.
You may be asked to use a number of different kinds of sources including Primary, Secondary, or Tertiary.
Primary Sources consist of original materials--a first-hand account of something. This information has not been filtered through interpretation. Examples of primary sources include:
Secondary Sources are written after something has happened and has the benefit of hindsight. This information includes interpretations and evaluations of primary information. Examples of secondary sources include:
Tertiary Sources are a distillation and collection of primary and secondary information. They usually include or are based on a range of secondary sources. Examples of tertiary sources include: