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Evaluating Specific Resources



What: Refers the relevance & scope of the information.

Reading the abstract (summary), browsing subject tags, skimming section headings, and looking at the table of contents and index (if the item is a book) are great strategies in determining if the source meets your research needs. 

It's important to ask:

  • Does the source address the points you want to make in your research? What aspect of your research question(s) does this source answer?  Does the information cover the topic comprehensively? Partially? Or, is it an overview?
  • Is it original material (primary), a review of previous research (secondary), an informative piece, or an overview of a topic from an encyclopedia (tertiary)?
  • Is the presentation of the topic appropriate for your purpose? Consider the audience it was intended for (scholars, industry professionals, students, general readers)
  • Is the information too technical or too simplistic?
  • Are there biases? Or is the information impartial and objective?

Additional Internet Source Consideration:

  • Is the web page part of a more extensive website? You may need to look at more than one page to get a better idea of the web content.
  • Is there a bibliography or live links to other sources of information on the topic?