Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
College HomeLibrary Home
Close Menu

ENG 24/98B & ESL 21/22 Information Literacy Tutorial: Information

Formats and Types

Information Creation as a Process

Information is created to convey a message, and different types indicate the kind of information is being expressed. Expert researchers:

  • Consider the strengths and weaknesses of each information type
  • Assess the fit between the information found and the information needed

​Please visit the ARCL Frame "Information Creation as a Process" for more info

Types of Information

Two types of information will be explored below: books and periodicals.


If you need historical, comprehensive, and detailed information, then you need a good book! Books are often long and full of useful information. To quickly navigate books to find exactly what you need, you must know how to use the Table of Contents and Index.

Table of Contents 

Table of Contents lists the book's chapters or parts at the beginning of the book. This list helps you see how information is organized.

The example below is form the book, Value of Hawaiʻi: Knowing the Past, Shaping the Future, edited by Howes and Kamakaikoʻole.



Index is located at the end of a book. It is an alphabetical list of people, places, events, and concepts with page numbers. The index points you to the exact location of the information within the book.

The sample index below is from America Aloha: Cultural Tourism and the Negotiation of Tradition by Diamond.

Reference Books

If you need basic, background information on a huge number of topics. Think of reference books like "legit" Wikipedia. It is always a good idea to start your research with a reference article before diving deeper into books, scholarly articles, and more.

Reference books (and reference librarians!) are found upstairs on the library's 3rd floor. More information on general and subject specific encyclopedias and dictionaries below.


General encyclopedias cover a wide range of topics. The Encyclopedia Britannica is an example of general encyclopedia that covers all branches of human knowledge.

Subject or specialized encyclopedias are more narrow in scope, focusing on a specific branch of knowledge. A few examples at Leeward Library include the print Encyclopedia of Muslim-American History and Encyclopedia of American Education and online The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America.


Dictionaries also come in both general and specialized types. General dictionaries provides the correct spelling of English-language words, meanings, and pronunciations. Typical examples include the print Random House Webster's College Dictionary and online Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.  

Specialized dictionaries  provide short definitions and summaries about concepts, issues, people, and places. The can focus on specific subjects, like rock & roll or medical terminology, as well as historical ime periods. Examples at Leeward Library include The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations and the Korean Standard Dictionary.


If you need current information, periodicals are your best sources. Periodicals include newspapers, magazinesand journals that are published in a regular, recurring basis, e.g. daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly. 

Periodicals are found in print on the 3rd floor of the library, as well as online in our many research databases.


Newspapers are a type of periodical generally published on a daily or weekly basis.  They are your especially useful sources for up-to-date information about people, places, or events that happened in Hawaii.  

The Library currently subscribes to several print newspapers including the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Pacific Business News, and USA Today.  Newspapers can be found in the Current Periodicals Display area on the 3rd floor.


Magazines are a type of periodical published weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc. They provide analyses of recent events and contain more detailed discussions of topics than newspapers.  

Magazines often contain colorful photos, illustrations, and advertisements on the front cover and throughout the publication.  Magazine articles cover topics ranging from current events, politics, and popular culture and are written in language appropriate for the general public.  Examples of current print magazines in our collection are TimeNewsweek, and Honolulu.
Current issues are kept at our Current Periodicals Display on the 3rd floor.  Older issues are filed in alphabetical order by title on nearby shelving.  All periodicals are for library-use only.

Scholarly Journals

Scholarly or academic journals are a type of periodical which are most often useful for upper-level college courses.  Journals contain articles offering original, scholarly research and are written using highly-specialized technical words and language.  The audience for these journals include scholars, researchers, upper-level undergraduates, and graduate students.  

Regular Library Hours
General Information: (808) 455‑0210
Reference Support: (808) 455‑0379