Research requires the evaluation of information. One way to evaluate information is by if it is from a Scholarly or Popular source. One way to evaluate the usefulness of a source is determining if it is Scholarly or Popular by evaluating the source of the material. Determine who the author is, who their intended audience is, and the purpose of the material to evaluate if you wish to share those ideas in your own work.
Evaluating sources requires evaluating who created it, who they created it for, and why they created it. Depending on your topic, you may be able to use both popular sources and scholarly sources. Popular sources can provide an overview of a topic, or specific examples of a topic, while scholarly articles can tie the ideas together. Choosing good sources and citing them permits readers to follow your arguments and evaluate your research for themselves. Choosing sources that your readers trust and presenting findings accurately can help your readers trust your research as well.
On the surface, some sources may appear scholarly but do not hold up to stringent standards. Some popular sources may also be written by scholars or people with first hand experience with a specific topic.
The following video from the Carnegie VIncent Library shows ways to tell the difference between scholarly and popular sources.
Popular Sources - Personal accounts from people who have been homeless (in person, on social media, in blogs, shelter workers, news)
In Between - Documentaries on homelessness.
Scholarly Sources - government statistics on homelessness, service agency reports, books compiling sources with evaluation.