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Evaluate Your Sources
Almost all of instructors will require that you use credible resources for your research. What exactly does this mean?
Watch this video to find out.
Use the following criteria as a guide to help you evaluate whether you should use a source:
1. Currency - the timeliness of the information
- When was the information published or last updated?
- Have newer articles been published on your topic?
- Is your topic in an area that changes rapidly, like technology, health, science or popular culture?
2. Reliability - the accuracy of the information
- Are there statements you know to be false?
- Was the information reviewed by editors or subject experts before it was published?
- What citations or references support the author’s claims?
- What do other people say about the topic?
3. Authority - the source of the information
- Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor of the source?
- What are the author’s credentials or organizational affiliations?
- Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
4. Purpose - the reason the information exists
- Is the purpose of the source to sell, persuade, entertain or inform?
- Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?
- Are alternative points of view presented?
- Does the author use strong or emotional language?
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