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Writing/Composition: Evaluating Resources

Use this guide to help when writing papers.

Not all Library Books are Good Sources!

Here's a blog that proves that not all books you find in a library are appropriate to use in a paper.  Some are extremely out of date or biased.  Remember to examine the book's accuracy, authority, objectivity, currency and coverage before you decide to use it as a source! 

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SRC Handouts on Evaluating Sources

Are Your Sources Quality Sources?

When you start researching topics, you will find tons of information in the library, in databases, and online.  Some of it is great, but there is also a lot of junk out there.  What is important is that you find and use quality information for your assignments.  How can you do this? 

Use these criteria to examine your sources:

Accuracy - Where is the author getting this information?  Are there citations or bibliographies included?

Authority - Who wrote it?  What are this author's credentials? 

Objectivity - What opinions are expressed by the author?  Is there an ulterior motive?

Currency - When was it published?  Are there major events or discoveries about the topic that happened between when it was published and now?

Coverage -  Is this a fair and balanced look at the topic?  Are a variety of areas within this topic covered? 

Evaluating Your Sources - Help on the Web

Here are some websites that explain more about how to think critically and evaluate your sources: