Evaluating Sources - Coggle Diagram
Select sources worth your time and attention
Scanning search results
There are some clues that tell you whether the source is useful or not:
The catalog lists basic information such as the title or date of publication in order to give you a first impression of the book, DVD or any other source. It would be your first clues as to whether the source is worth consulting.
Web search engines
Both reliable and reliable web sources can be found on the internet. Following these clues will help you find out if the page is reliable or not
The URL, especially the URL ending: for example, .com, .edu, .gov, or .org (How relevant? How reliable?
An indication of the site’s sponsor or purpose (How reliable?)
A date (How current?)
The title, keywords, headings, and lead-in text (How relevant?)
Having this information will help you to decide if the source is relevant, current and scholarly.
Title and brief description (How relevant?)
Date (How current?)
Name of periodical or other publication (How scholarly?)
Length (How extensive in coverage?)
Previewing an article
Is it a scholarly journal ? A popular magazine? A newspaper with a national reputation?
For a newspaper article, focus on the headline and the opening paragraphs for relevance.
For a magazine or journal article, look for an abstract or a statement of purpose at the beginning; also look for a summary at the end
Scan any headings and look at any visuals( charts, graphs, diagrams, or illustrations) that might indicate the article’s focus and scope.
Previewing a web site
Try to determine the purpose of the Web site. Is the site trying to sell a product? Promote an idea? Inform the public? Is the purpose consistent with your research?
If the Web site includes statistical data (tables, graphs, charts), can you tell how and by whom the statistics were compiled? Is research cited?
Check to see if the sponsor is a reputable organization, a government agency, or a university.
Find out when the site was created or last updated. Is it current enough for your purposes?
Previewing a book
Scan the preface in search of a statement of the author’s
Use the index to look up a few words related to your topic.
Glance through the table of contents, keeping your research
question in mind.
If a chapter looks useful, read its opening and closing
paragraphs and skim any headings.
Think about how sources might contribute to your writing
These sources may
Provide evidence for your argument
Lend authority to your argument
Explain terms or concepts that your readers might not
Identify a gap or contradiction in the conversation
Provide background information or context for your topic
Offer counterarguments and alternative interpretations to
Is easier if you follow the formula: find some sources, evaluate those sources, write a paper.
Select appropiate versions of online sources