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COMM 1015/1016: Evaluating Sources

Evaluation Criteria

How do you decide which sources to use for your projects? Here are some questions to ask yourself as you evaluate the sources you find:

  • Who? Who created this information? What are their qualifications?

  • What? What content is included? What kind of evidence is used? Does the content connect to your topic?

  • Why? What is the purpose of this source? Can you detect any bias?

  • Where? Where did you obtain it? Where (or by whom) was it published?

  • When? How current is the information?

Popular and Scholarly

Scholarly, Trade, and Popular Sources

Your instructors will often require that you use scholarly or academic sources for your research projects. But what is a scholarly source? How do you describe a source that isn't scholarly? See below for a comparison of three main source types: popular, trade, and scholarly.