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COM 249: Mass Media and Mass Culture : Evaluate Sources

An examination of the interplay between the technology and content of the mass communication media and culture. Fall 2017.

Evaluate Your Sources

Knowing how to find relevant, reliable, and accurate information can help you create better research assignments. These same skills will help you make informed decisions about real world questions, too, such as buying a car or evaluating financial aid options. Use the criteria below to help you evaluate the information you find. 

  • Authority: Who is the author?

Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
What makes this person knowledgeable on this topic?
What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?

  • Purpose: Why does the information exist?

Is the purpose, intent and audience should be clearly stated.?
Are arguments supported by facts? Are other viewpoints recognized?
There should be no broad generalizations that are not supported by evidence.

  • Currency: When was the information published?

Has the information been revised or updated?
Is currency important for your topic?

  • Accuracy:  Is the information supported by evidence?

Are sources documented with footnotes or bibliography?
Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
Can you find some of the same information given elsewhere?

  • Relevance: Is there information in the source that is strongly related to your topic?

How will you use this information in your paper?
Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?

Adapted from  Evaluating Information – Applying the CRAAP Test, Meriam Library, California State University, Chico. http://www.csuchico.edu/lins/handouts/eval_websites.pdf

Authority

Purpose