For any research project, you need a variety of sources, both in type and point of view, in order to properly explore a research subject.
Background: Encyclopedias and dictionaries provide useful background information and are valuable tools as you begin to research a topic. However, they are not significant sources for research papers and an over-reliance on such works indicates superficial, not thorough, research.
Exhibit: using a source as evidence or examples to analyze. e.g. images.
Argument: using a source to engage its argument. For example, you might use an editorial from the New York Times and affirm, dispute, apply or extend its argument in your own paper.
Method: using a source’s way of analyzing an issue to apply to your own issue. For example, you might use an article's key terms, perspectives, theory or conclusions in your own paper.