In order to evaluate material that you might be using to support your writing, it is important to consider the:
- Authority of the Author(s)
- Bias(es) of the Authors
- Currency of the Material
In order to begin evaluating your sources, the following questions should help in identifying the credibility and reliability of their research.
|Heading 2 Questions
- Who is the author?
- What expertise does this author have on the topic?
- What sources did the author use to support their ideas?
- Are their findings based upon fact or opinion?
- Did the author provide original source information?
- Does this article/research come from a peer-reviewed journal/authority?
- What biases/prejudices does the author have?
- What organization does the author work for? Does this organization have any inherent biases?
- Does the author use a lot of “I-language” that is subjective? (I think…, I feel…, etc.).
- Does the author list any potential conflicts of interest?
- How recent is the research/article? (However, not all “old” article are inherently bad!)
- If this article is not recent, are the findings applicable today?
- How many other authors have cited this article recently? (However, please note that you might miss good articles if this is your only criteria).