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Choose the Best Info

Choose the Best Info

  • You must critically analyse each source to find out its value.

Purpose

  • Is there bias? Check the source of the information. Is a specific group's ideas promoted? 
  • Consider the point-of-view. Are different points-of-view, theories or techniques presented?
  • Think about who the information was written for (experts, public, etc.). Is that appropriate for your needs? 

Relevance

  • Think about the types of sources that you require to complete the assignment. Do you need specific kinds of sources (articles, cases, primary sources, etc)?
  • Find background information to get an overview of your topic, define concepts or collect facts.

Currency

  • Consider the type of information you require. How rapidly is research changing in your topic area? 
  • Do a search on you topic and limit by publication date. 

Authority

  • Think about the author's credentials/reputation. Do they have expertise in the subject? How was this work received by others?
  • Who created the website? If that information is difficult to find, try a WHOIS Search.

Accuracy

  • Is the information verifiable by other sources?
  • Do other sources come to the same conclusion(s)? Are the claims backed up?
  • Has the work been reviewed before publication?

Tips for Evaluating Your Sources

  • Unfortunately there is no easy checklist to see if a source is the best for your needs.
  • The usefulness of a source depends on what you need.

Resources to Help Find Primary Sources

Guide: find primary sourcesGuide: Find newspapers 

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