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COMM 1071: Introduction to Effective Speaking (UCBA)

Starting point for research for all sections of COMM 1071.

Evaluating Your Information

As you search for sources, what helps you decide that the information is trustworthy?  Because there is not a one size fits all when it comes to credibility, you will have to make some decisions.  Some initial questions to ask include...

  • What is the best type of source for your assignment?
  • What do you need to know about this source to determine if it is credible?
  • Does the information relate to your topic and/or answer some aspect of your research question?
  • Is the information up-to-date, current, or does it never go out-of-date?

Reminder: Always review the assignment/project for any source requirements

Strategies for Evaluating Sources

AUTHORITY
  • What do you know about the creator(s) of the information? 
  • What is their background, education and/or training?
  • What makes them an authority?  Subject expertise like a researcher? Societal position like a public office position or title? Special experience like participating in a historical event?
CREATION PROCESS
  • How and for whom was the information produced?
  • Why did the creator(s) select this format for publishing their work?
POINT OF VIEW
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Is the information appealing to emotions and/or biases?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, geographic, or personal biases?
PURPOSE
  • Is the information presented as facts or opinions?
  • Why was the information created? Is it to inform, explain or teach? Is it to report research findings? Is it to persuade or present opinions? Is it to simply entertain? Is someone trying to sell you something?
SOURCE TYPE
  • What type of source (e.g. news article, book, scholarly article, website) is it?
  • Is it scholarly, popular, commercial, government, or private?
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