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Is your source credible?
Don’t forget to consider these factors.
Purpose : Reason the source exists
Is the point of the information to inform, persuade, teach, or sell?
Do the authors/publishers make their intentions clear?
Does the information appear to be fact or opinion?
Does the point of view seem impartial? Do they identify counter-arguments?
Authority - Author:Source of the information
Who is the author? What are their credentials or qualifications?
What makes the author qualified to write on this topic?
Is there clearly defined contact information for the author?
Authority - Publisher:Source of the information
Who is the publisher? Is it a non-profit, government agency, or organization? How might this affect their point of view?
What makes the publisher qualified to generate works on this subject?
What can the URL tell you about the publisher? For instance, .gov may signify that it is a government agency.
Accuracy : Reliability and truthfulness of the content
Where does the information come from?
Can the information presented be verified? Is it supported by evidence that is clearly cited?
Does the language used seem free of emotion, and does the work seem impartial and objective?
Are there any spelling or grammatical errors? If an online source, are all links working?
If it was reproduced, who edited/reproduced it? Where was the information originally published?
How original are the ideas presented in the work? Do they seem to be common knowledge?
Relevance : Importance of the information to your topic
Does the information relate to your topic, or answer the question you have presented?
Who is the intended audience of the work? Does that audience match with yours?
Have you looked at other sources related to this one? Does it seem there are many others on the topic?
Are you utilizing the entire source, or just a part of it?
Currency : Timeliness of the information
When was the information published? When was it last updated? Does it reflect the most current information available?
How does your topic fit in with this source’s publication date? Do you need current information to make your point or do older sources work better?
Does the source present one or multiple viewpoints on your topic?
Does the source present a large amount of information on the topic? Or is it short and focused?
Are there any points you feel may have been left out, on purpose or accidentally, that affect its comprehensiveness?