Evaluating Your Sources

4 W’s: Who, What, When, Why?

Why evaluate? 1. Because there is “bad” information out there o Out of date, incomplete, incorrect, misleading, deceptive, biased o Can’t tell just from appearances 2. Better sources = better paper = better grades 3. Critical thinking = better paper = better grades 4. A skill that makes a difference in consumer choices, health decisions, politics, and every area of life.

4 Evaluation Factors:

Who? (Who is responsible for the source?)
 

Author credentials available? Is the author qualified to write on the topic? Is this a scholarly/peer reviewed source? Are proper research methods followed? Are proper citation/documentation methods followed? Does the topic you are researching require current data? When was the information authored/created or last updated? Is there a discernable bias or agenda? Misinformation or propaganda?

What? (What kind of source is this?)
  

When? (Is the source up-to-date enough?)
 

Why? (What was the creator’s purpose for creating the source?)

Center for Learning and Technology SUNY Empire State College

More information on identifying agenda/bias: http://tinyurl.com/infoeval

Center for Learning and Technology SUNY Empire State College



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