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Research Fundamentals Tutorial

Module 4: Evaluating sources

Once you start finding sources, you'll need to evaluate each one to decide whether it's right for your project. 

For each source you'll need to evaluate...

  • The purpose of the text: Remember, newspapers, magazines, reference entries, etc. are written with different audiences and purposes in mind. The type of source will give you a hint on its purpose.
  • The publication date: Was this published recently enough to be relevant to your topic.
  • The depth or level of detail: Is this overview of a broad topic or a report of detailed research.
  • The evidence: How does the author provide evidence to support the claims?
  • The author’s credentials: What kind of expertise does the author have on this subject? Is it the right kind of expertise for your research project?

Evaluation is a skill that requires critical thinking and practice. We’ll touch on some examples in this module, but there’s a lot that can’t be covered in an online automated tutorial like this one.

Let's examine an article and evaluate it on the next page.