The most common source of reliable, credible information you will find on the Internet is through scholarly journals and databases. These academic, peer reviewed collections provide you with extensive reports, case studies, articles and research studies to help bolster your research process.
Most online scholarly journals are categorized by certain subjects, professions, and fields of study and allow you to seek out the most targeted information possible. Many online journals and databases will only let you preview an article abstract or summary, requiring a paid per-article or subscription fee to view the complete article.
However, many college and university libraries have arrangements such that you don't have to pay to view articles. Check with your library to see if they can get you a copy of complete articles that you can't access online.
Popular online scholarly databases include:
Several major encyclopedia publishers have online versions of their materials. Some charge an access fee to view full entries.
In 2001, Wikipedia sought to change this by creating an open-source encyclopedia edited and curated by the Internet. With over 23 million articles, entries in Wikipedia are collaboratively written by volunteers around the globe. Because of this, the quality of writing may not make it the most reliable or accurate source of information.
However, if you're just looking to get a handle on basic ideas about your speech topic, Wikipedia is a great first source to check out. Also, make sure to click through and investigate a Wikipedia's article's references list to find other, more quality and reliable, sources of information on the same subject.
With over 48 hours of content uploaded to YouTube every minute, YouTube has compiled more videos across every two week span (8 years of video per day) than total number of years that motion pictures have existed (117 years in 2012).
Video can provide you a rich, visual depth to your Internet research, providing you with first-hand accounts, video tutorials and diaries, and citizen journalism.
Online tools such as Project Gutenberg and Google Books now allow you to access full books from the comfort of your Internet browser.
Project Gutenberg is an open-source collective of full texts now in the public domain. Google Books offers both full texts and partial previews on millions of books.
Because both of these resources index the content of each full text, they are searchable to find the exact content and information you need.
While many would dismiss the credibility and reliability of information garnered from social media sources, both Twitter and Facebook can provide intrinsic value to your Internet search.
Most mainstream journalism outlets can no longer keep up social media's immediacy of information sharing, making some into a form of citizen journalism that provides real-time, first-person accounts of world events.
EXAMPLEIf you were preparing a speech about the Arab Spring or the 2012 Presidential Election, social media would be invaluable to your research tracking populist sentiment and eyewitness accounts in real-time reporting.
Source: Boundless. "Types of Material on the Internet." Boundless Communications Boundless, Invalid Date Invalid Date. Invalid Date. Retrieved 19 May. 2017 from https://www.boundless.com/communications/textbooks/boundless-communications-textbook/topic-research-gathering-materials-and-evidence-8/internet-research-43/types-of-material-on-the-internet-183-4161/