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Claremont Lincoln University
LibGuides

Finding and Evaluating Resources: Evaluate

Where to look for resources

Looking in the library catalog is a great place to start.  Not only can you find print books, but you can also find electronic books and journal articles as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The catalog is going to be your best bet for finding the resources you need!

Why it's important to evaluate resources

Information is widely available these days, from Google to Wikipedia to Twitter.  However, just because the information is available doesn't mean it is reliable or useful to your research needs.  In order to  be a good researcher, it's important to critically evaluate any information you find and to make sure you find useful books, article, websites, etc.  Below are some reasons its important to evaluate what you find.

  • Anyone can write or publish an article or webpage -- Does it sound reasonable?  Are they clearly trying to push an agenda or sell you something?
  • Can't fact check every website! -- Sources that might be relevant for one purpose might not be for another.
  • Not all sources are created equally! -- It's important and necessary to be able to filter through your results to find the ones that best answer your question.

This guide will help you evaluate resources, both print and online, that you come across during your research.  Critically evaluating resources is a skill that will help you write the best college papers possible.

Evaluating Your Sources

UNC Writing Center tutorial on how to evaluate your sources.

You be the Judge

Currency​

  • When was it written?
  • Have new editions come out?
  • Does the topic require updated information?

Relevance

  • Does info relate to your topic?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is it an appropriate level for your research needs?

Authority

  • What is the source of information?
  • Who wrote it?
  • What is the URL? .com? .edu? .gov?

Accuracy

  • Has the information been reviewed by experts in the field?
  • Is the information verifiable?
  • Is the information unbiased?
  • Are there spelling or grammatical errors?

Purpose

  • What is the purpose of the information?
  • Inform? Entertain? Sell? Persuade?
  • Is the information impartial and objective?

Research 101: Credibility is Contextual