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EDUC 305 - Learning Differences

Evaluating Scholarly Sources

Before using any information source in your paper, whether it is a book, article, or something from a webpage, you need to carefully evaluate the information to make sure it is both reliable and appropriate. Use this list of questions to help you evaluate information. Depending on your information need, different criteria will be more or less important

  1. Authority - Who is the author? What is their point of view? 
  2. Purpose - Why was the source created? Who is the intended audience?
  3. Publication & format - Where was it published? In what medium?
  4. Relevance - How is it relevant to my research? What is its scope?
  5. Date of publication - When was it written? Has it been updated?
  6. Documentation - Did they cite their sources? Who did they cite?

When analyzing a scholarly, peer-reviewed source, most of this information should be documented (only you can determine if a source is relevant). If you aren't sure if an article or journal is peer-reviewed, Google the publication or check the library website.


Evaluating Websites

It is not always easy to figure out if online sources are credible. Below is a series of videos that explains the best tools for discerning whether online sources are credible.