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Thigpen Library Research Guides

ENGL 1010 & 1020: 4. Evaluate

Research process and resources for ENGL 1010 & 1020 essays

Video: Evaluating Sources for Credibility

Watch Evaluating Sources for Credibility to understand what it means for a source to be credible. Learn why you should use credible sources for your college assignments.

  On the Vol State Need Help page at the end of this video the information on SMS / Text  is outdated. Check our Ask a Librarian web page for ways we can assist you with your research.


Resources to help with evaluation

Initial evaluation

Begin your evaluation with who, whatwhen and where.

Who created the source?

What is the source? What is it about?

When was it created?

Where did you find it?

This basic information is available in the bibliographic citation for an article or book and the About Us section of a website. Expand the basic information by looking for more details about the who and what.
  • Is the author qualified?
  • Is this a credible periodical?
  • Is this website sponsored by a credible organization?

Read the title and subtitle for clues about the content.

Evaluate the content

Once you have determined that the source is credible ask yourself if the information itself meets your needs.

  • Is the information repetitive of another source you are using?
  • What type of article is it? Is it a book review? An opinion essay?
  • Is the information current? A source may have been published recently but the content may rely on older data.
  • Who is the intended audience? The content may be too technical or too simple for your needs.
  • Does the author fully identify the sources of information either in the body of the text or in a bibliography? Do the sources appear to be relevant and credible?
  • Is it primary or secondary research? What type of primary research?