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Why Evaluate? Authority/Timeliness Documentation/Purpose Review Process/Suitability
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  • Does the author refer to other works?
  • Does the source have a bibliography?
How can I find out?
  • Does the author support his or her statements with data or references to research?
  • Look at the end of the source for a bibliography or list of references.



  • What is the purpose of the source? Is it to inform, persuade, present opinions, report research, or sell a product?

  • For what audience is it intended? Does it show any bias?

  • Is it popular or scholarly?

How can I find out?

  • Read the source you are evaluating.

  • Determine whether the source is published by an organization with a particular purpose.
  • Determine whether the source attempts to sell a product or promote a particular point of view. Also, see if presents a balanced view.
  • Determine whether the material is scholarly or popular using the following criteria:


Scholarly Journal
- signed - may be unsigned
- written by an expert

- may be written by someone outside the


- author's position and institution given
- includes references - no references
- specialized language - written for the general public

- may be published by an association of

  scholarly press

- contains advertisements

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