RD 115 Information Literacy Project: Evaluate Sources
Evaluating Sources: Questions to Ask
Types of Articles
There are many different types of articles. The chart below can help you figure out which type(s) you're looking for or identify an article you've already found:
|News articles provide the most current information. Certain newspapers, such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, are also known for thoughtful, in-depth analysis of important topics and events.|
|Popular magazine articles can help you generate ideas about issues, controversies, or unanswered questions about a topic, which you might want to explore further. They sometimes refer to studies or scholarly work that you can track down for more information.|
|Trade publications are written by and for professionals within an industry. These are an excellent source of very specific information from inside the field.|
|Scholarly journal articles go through a process of peer review before they are published. They are written by experts in the field (the people with letters after their name!) and their purpose is to advance the ongoing body of work within the discipline. These articles might present original research data and findings, or take a position on a key question within the field. They can be difficult to read, because their intended audience is other experts and academics, but they are at the top of the line when it comes to authoritative information.|
Test Your Knowledge: Scholarly, Trade/Professional, Popular
Evaluating Sources to Find Quality Research
This video will provide you with three questions to ask of any source to make sure it is a good fit for your research assignment.
Evaluating Sources on the Web
On the web, it can be difficult to tell what type of source you’re looking at and whether or not it’s something that would provide quality evidence for your assignment. This video will help you look more critically at your own search results.
Evaluating Sources: How PCC Students Do It
In this video, three Portland Community College students talk about how they consider, evaluate and use sources for their own research assignments. It should give you a good idea of what you should consider when evaluating sources for your research.
Evaluating Web Resources
You can use Google and other search engines to find valuable information on almost any topic imaginable on the Internet. You will also find opinions, factoids, propaganda, commercial advertising posing as fact, and many other sources of misinformation. Since anyone can post anything on the free web, not everything is trustworthy.