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 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 a great checklist for evaluating sources.