Skip to Main Content


This Research Guide provides information about cosmetology resources found in the CCCC libraries and online.


In this section, you will find information about possible resources in your field. Because barbering is part of the career and technical field, you will likely interact with industry/trade sources and popular sources. This section shows you the differences between those types of sources and how to evaluate them.

Finding and Evaluating Cosmetology Sources

Newspaper IconWhat's in them?
Current news, trends, events, and advertisements for professionals working in a specific field.

Icon representing staffWho writes them?
Professionals in the industry. Often trade journal articles are written by people with extensive experience in a specific industry. Helpful hint: Look for an author's bio in an article. This will give you more information about the author's background and experience.

Icon representing the readerWho reads them?
  • Other professionals looking for insights and discussions of current industry issues
  • Students looking to gain understanding of what it really means to work in a particular field.

Graduation Cap iconWhen should you use them?
  • When you are looking for credible information from an informed industry professional
  • When you need evidence to support your professional conclusions
  • When trying to gain information about trends or news in an industry

Multiple documents iconWhat do they look like?
  • length: most articles are 1-5 pages, although some can be longer
  • vocabulary: may use technical or industry-specific language (often called jargon)
  • images: includes some images to illustrate concepts, and figures are common in technical professions
  • journal: title is highly specific (ex. Canadian Mining Journal) and often references the industry itself, contains advertisements targeted at working industry professionals
Magazine iconWhat's in them?
Entertaining or generally informative articles about a variety of subjects. Often these sources can take the forms of editorials or blogs that reflect an author's personal bias rather than focusing on the facts.

Author iconWho writes them?
People who may have conducted interviews or research to learn about the topic, but who are not scholarly experts in the field.

Who reads them?
 A general audience.  The writing should not require specialized expertise to read.


information iconWhen should you use them?
  • If you need basic facts or background information to get started learning about your topic
  • If you want to understand a very recent current event 
  • For fun!

online article iconWhat do they look like?
  • citations: very rarely include citations, but when they do, the formatting is not correct.
  • vocabulary: use every day language (some more specific popular magazines, like The Economist might use technical jargon, but will often explain or define it when they do).
  • images: lots of pictures
  • magazine: glossy pages and lots of ads

Watch out: Popular magazines and blogs cover a lot of subjects, and can be formatted in a variety of ways. The tips listed above will not be true 100% of the time. Critical thinking about audience and authorship are important when trying to identify popular articles!
You can evaluate the sources you find by applying the "C.R.A.P" test -- essentially, you are checking whether or not the information you find is reliable, reasonable, and/or credible. Here are some questions you can consider as you check the information you've found:

Currency: When was the information published? Although you can use information that is older than 5 years, it is often a good idea to find more current information. Think about how life was 5 years ago, particularly in your field. What has changed? Does the information you've found take into account those changes? If not, consider finding an article that is more current (less than 5 years old). 
Relevance: Information you find should be relevant to your topic.
  • Does it apply directly to your topic?  
  • Does the whole article apply, or only small parts?
  • How detailed is the information?

Reliability: Is the information reliable? Can you count on it being true? Check for...
  • Evidence to support its major claims
  • Is it consistent with the other information you've found?  If not, does it acknowledge this discrepancy and explain it?
  • Is there any potential for bias from the author?

Authority: Make sure you can identify the author of the article and they have the authority to write on the subject. Anyone can share their opinion online--but you're looking for experts! So, identify...
  • How many authors?
  • What are their credentials (degrees, jobs at universities)?
  • Have they written other articles or books on related subjects?
  • Is there any potential for bias?

Purpose: Why was the article written? Can you tell? Knowing what an author hoped to do or gain by writing and publishing an article tells you a lot about how relevant it is for you. Ask yourself...
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the article meant to inform, entertain, persuade, sell, or add to an already existing conversation?
  • What kind of information is being shared?