Evaluating sources of information to make sure they are credible helps you ensure that you have a solid foundation for the ideas you are putting forth in your researched writing.
Asking basic informational questions will help you decide whether a source is credible enough to use in your research.
Three aspects of a source provide much of the information you need in order to evaluate the usefulness of a source.
Know how to identify a source author’s credentials.
Think about which sources would work best for different kinds of research papers.
A writer’s intent and language can clue you into a source’s bias, or slant, on the information.
The writer’s purpose for writing and the language used to achieve that purpose affect whether an opinionated source is too biased to use.
Figure out what makes an author credible.
Learn how to recognize bias in sources and your own writing.
The author, publisher, and publication date all have a role in evaluating sources such as books and articles you access in print.
Knowing how and when to use Wikipedia and encyclopedias in your research process is crucial in preparing a bibliography that demonstrates your specialized knowledge.
Pay attention to some basic elements of print sources in order to evaluate them.
Search effectively for credible print sources.
Slowing down to check for not-so-minor details is a key aspect of evaluating sources you find online.
From the way you access online sources to the kinds of information they provide, web pages can be authoritative sources or mere quackery.
Know how to navigate through a website to find the information you need to evaluate it.
Understand how search engines work and how to evaluate the sources you’ll find on the results page.
You can use the features of a scholarly article as a check to be sure you are citing the most respected sources available.
Distinguishing popular magazines from scholarly journals will allow you to make well-reasoned decisions about which sources make most sense in your research situation.
Use online and print encyclopedias carefully to maintain your own credibility in a research paper.
Find and use scholarly articles to help make your paper authoritative.