Skip to Main Content

EN 106 Reading, Thinking, and Writing II

Evaluating Sources of All Types

All sources, ranging from websites to articles from library databases, should be evaluated in terms of
  • quality and reliability
  • relevance to your research
  • assignment criteria

Quality & Reliability

Is this a quality, reliable source?  Ask these questions:
  • Who is the author or sponsoring organization?
  • What gives the author or sponsoring organization the authority to provide this information?  Why should I believe what they say? 
  • How old is the information?  Is it out of date?  Is there more current information I could be using?
  • What is the purpose of the magazine, website, film, publication?  Is it biased?  Is it selling, convincing or persuading? Educational?  Entertainment? Propaganda?

Relevance to Research

Is the information relevant to my research?
  • Will this information help answer my research question? 
  • Will it provide evidence to support my argument?

Assignment Criteria

Does the information meet the assignment criteria?
  • Do I need peer-reviewed articles?
  • Do I need primary sources?
  • Do I need orginal research studies, not reviews of past research?

Read your assignment carefully to make sure you understand the criteria.