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ENG 101 Information Literacy Program Master Guide

Evaluating sources

Evaluating Sources

Carefully evaluate all information, whether from a book, article, or website, by asking the following questions:

  • Who?  Who is the author of this source?
    • Are they qualified to write/speak on the subject?
    • Do you detect any bias on the author’s part in relation to the subject?
  • What? What is the source?
    • Does it have a title?
    • Is it a primary source, such as an original document or creative work or is it a secondary source, such as a report or analysis of primary sources?
    • Is it authoritative or trustworthy?
  • How?
    • How was the source produced?
    • Who is the publisher or sponsoring organization?
  • Where did you find the source?
    • Was it through a library’s databases or through an internet search engine that may list results in a biased or weighted manner?
  • When was the source published?
    • Has it been replaced or updated?

MLA Handbook. 8th ed., The Modern Language Association, 2016, pp. 11-12.

MLA also provides this great checklist for evaluating sources. 

 

 

Check out these other library research guides for information about evaluating sources.

 

A Rough Guide to Spotting Bad Science handout

 

Brunning, Andy. "A Rough Guide to Spotting Bad Science." Ci: Compound Interest, Andy Brunning/Compound Interest, 2017, www.compoundchem.com/2014/04/02/a-rough-guide-to-spotting-bad-science/. Accessed 7 Dec. 2017.