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ENGL 1001: English Composition (UCBA)

Starting point for ENGL 1001 research assignments.

What is Evaluating?

There isn't a checklist that determines if information is credible and trustworthy. Instead, there are questions you can ask yourself to help determine how well a source fits your needs. Keep in mind that the information you find needs to be situated in the context of your research question. 

Preliminary Questions To Ask:

  • Given the source requirements (if applicable), what is the best type of source for the research question? 
  • How will you use this source in your research assignment?
  • What value does this source add to your research assignment?
  • Does the information relate to your research topic and/or answer some aspect of your research question?

Reminder: always review the assignment for any source requirements.

Evaluating Sources for Credibility Video

The Evaluating Information Sources video (3:18 minutes) introduces the concept of evaluating information to determine credibility.

  • Watch Evaluating Information Sources video
  • Review the Critical Questions for Source Evaluation on this page
  • Download Evaluate Source worksheet (Word file link)
  • Complete worksheet once you have found a potential source for your research assignment

Critical Questions for Source Evaluation

Age

  • When was the information published/posted?
  • Given the topic, is the information up-to-date, current, or does it never go out-of-date?

Audience

  • Who is the primary audience for this information?

Authority

  • Who is the author or creator?
  • What is their background, education, training, and/or experience?
  • Who published the information?

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? Inform, explain or teach? Report research findings? Persuade or present opinions? Entertain? Sell something?
  • Will the purpose influence the information?

Sources

  • Does the author/creator cite their sources (e.g. references, footnotes, works cited, hyperlinks)?
  • If sources are included, are they credible sources?

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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