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The Library Research Process, Step-by-Step

General help to get you started in the research process for your paper or project.

How to Evaluate Sources

There are different ways to evaluate sources: evaluating them for quality research, determining whether they are scholarly, peer-reviewed sources or whether they are from popular press, or evaluating whether or not they will be a good fit for your assignment.

The library has created a page to help you evaluate your sources. That guide will show you how to find out the intention of the source: who made it and why? You'll also read how to determine the relevance and reliability of a source when it comes to your paper.

The most important things to keep in mind are:

  • Is it scholarly? Does your assignment require you to use only scholarly sources?
  • Is the author biased a certain way? Are they a member of a strongly-leaning group or organization?
  • What year was the article or source published? Is it still relevant today?
  • How reliable is the source? Is it from a reputable author or publisher? If it's a book, university presses are reputable sources. Do you recognize the author's name; if not, are there credentials (their job title or academic rank) that tell you about the author's expertise?

Evaluating Information the Web

We all know there is a ton of information available on the Internet. But we also all know that it's not all accurate or trustworthy. You want to ensure that you are using quality online sources for your paper! 

This online module will guide you through stratgegies for evaluating information on the Web (scroll to the bottom of the screen).