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Evaluate Sources

Learn how to decide whether a source is credible, and worthy of being used in your assignment.

Reference & Instruction Librarian

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Claire Ehrlich
Payne Hall 204

Evaluating sources: 

critically evaluating information in relation to a given purpose, in order to determine if it is appropriate for the intended use.

Why Evaluate Sources?

Not all information is of equal value.


Different sources have different purposes:

  • Some information is meant to inform.
  • Some information is meant to entertain.
  • Some information is meant to persuade.
  • Some information is meant to mislead.


Different authors have different levels of expertise and authority:

  • Some authors have doctoral degrees in their subject area.
  • Some authors are professional journalists, trained in gathering and reporting information to the public.
  • Some authors have worked in their field for decades.
  • Some authors are biased.
  • Some authors do not know any more about their subject than you or I do. 


Making informed decisions about which sources to use and not use will improve your research (and probably your grade!).