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Evaluating Sources

Can I really trust this information?

Whenever you research a topic, it is quite possible, even likely, that you will find lots of information on it. In fact, the amount of available information on a topic can frequently be overwhelming.

This unit provides a process for weeding through it all so you use only the "best" for your work.


  1. Weeding — An Introduction
    The steps in the process

    PART 1: Initial Appraisal

    1. Author's Credentials
      Is this person real?

    2. Year of Publication
      Is the information out of date?

    3. Edition
      For books and periodicals

    4. Publisher
      Is the publisher reputable?

    5. Type of Periodical
      Magazine or scholarly journal?

  1. PART 2: Content Analysis

    1. Intended Audience
      General or specialized?

    2. Objective Reasoning
      Information or propaganda?

    3. Writing Style
      Does it make sense?

    4. Evaluation or Reviews
      What do others think about this work?

    5. Evaluating Web Sources
      Special Considerations for Web sites

    6. Analyzing Sources
      Four tips for weeding as you go

    7. Exercise: Be B-A-D!
      Why are these sources of lower quality?