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Information Literacy Modules
  • What is a pamphlet or brochure?

    A pamphlet or brochure is "nonperiodical," that is, not published on a regular schedule like a magazine or journal.

    It is often posted online as a PDF so that it will print attractively.

  • How do I know it's a pamphlet or brochure?

    Is this word in the title or description?

    • Pamphlet
    • Brochure
    • Leaflet
    • Factsheet
    • Tract
    • Handbill
    • Flyer

  • How does a pamphlet or brochure differ from a book?

    The length and format of a pamphlet or brochure is a less substantial than a book. Characteristically, it contains:

    • Fewer pages
    • Stapled, folded or stitched pages
    • A paper cover (rather than bound in boards)
    • Subheadings rather than chapters

  • How do a pamphlet, brochure and leaflet differ?

    • Pamphlet: Stitched or stapled pages (less than 80) with a paper cover. Sometimes a pamphlet is an essay, treatise or tract on a religious or political topic of current interest.
    • Brochure: A stitched, stapled or folded (bifold, trifold) booklet or pamphlet which may cover product information or promotional material.
    • Leaflet: A printed and folded single sheet of paper (e.g., handbill, flyer) usually distributed free.

  • Why publish a pamphlet or brochure?

    This informal medium enables rapid publishing of brief information in an attractive format that can quickly and economically be revised.

  • How can I evaluate a brochure or pamphlet?

    Why is the purpose of this publication?

    • Inform (e.g., appliance warrantee, museum exhibit list of artworks)
    • Explain (e.g., product manual, how to knit a sweater)
    • Persuade (e.g., why adopt a healthy lifestyle, a political candidate's view on an issue)

    How does the organization's purpose affect the presentation or omission of information?

  • How do I fact-check the information?

    Follow the trail of evidence to see who is quoted or what is referenced:

    • Is the original source accurately represented?
    • Is data presented fully or "cherry picked" to suppress contradictory evidence?
    • Are the sources credible and relevant?
    • How strong is the evidence? If there is a study or poll, is the sample size large enough to represent the population accurately?

  • How do I evaluate the argument?

    • What is the main idea?
    • Is strong evidence presented to support the claims?
    • Do the conclusions follow logically from the analysis?
    • Could I interpret things differently?
    • Whose perspective might be missing?

    How does this source fit?

    • Does it add another dimension to the topic?
    • Does the information make sense, given what I already know?

  • Why is this pamphlet published by this organization?

    How does it fit with the purpose and goals of this group?

    • Read "About," "Overview," "Mission," "Press Info"
    • Who funds, supports, or sponsors this group?

    Tip: Search [link:URL] to see who refers to this information and what they say.

  • How do I cite a pamphlet or brochure?

    Since there is no standard publishing format for a pamphlet or brochure, citation elements might be found on the:

    • First- or last-fold
    • Cover (front or back)
    • Title page or first page
    • Referring Web page