Research Papers

Evaluating Information

As you identify resources on your topic, it is important to evaluate each resource for quality.  If you have selected articles from scholarly journals, you can be fairly certain that the content is accurate, objective, and written by an authority in that field of study.

If you locate information on your topic using a Web search, you'll want to be especially attentive to factors that will indicate whether or not the information is reliable.  A web site can provide a number of clues about the quality of its content, so it is important to critically evaluate every resource you locate on the open Web. There are a number of different approaches to evaluating web sites for quality.  Most include considering the accuracy, authority, objectivity, and currency of information.  

Who is an Authority?

Have you ever wondered why your instructors make such a big deal about finding credible sources to use in your papers? Information resources reflect their creators' expertise and credibility, and they are evaluated based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used.