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Writing Studies & Composition 2 - Prof. Cipriani: Evaluating Sources

Guides to EValuating Sources

Your information search will undoubtedly yield many more results than you actually use. How do you select your sources? Relevancy to your topic is the very first criterion. After that, there are several other criteria to use in evaluation the credibility of the source.

Evaluating Internet resources is especially problematic because:

  • There is often no editorial control over what is posted on the Internet
    • Magazine, newspaper and academic journal articles are all editorially reviewed
  • Unlike the traditional media, there may be no indication of who wrote or bears responsibility for information found on the Interne
    • When authorship is not indicated you cannot evaluate the credibility of the information: is the author qualified to write on what he/she is writing about? Does the author have financial, political or professional ties that influence the claims he/she is making?
  • Social media is uniquely problematic because information is posted and shared, often in the absence of any corroborating evidence

Evaluating Information is a guide produced by the Johns Hopkins University libraries giving criteria for evaluating various types of information. Pay special attention to the sections on Evaluating Internet Resources and Evaluating Social Media.

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