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HIST 021/136 U.S. History 1 & HIST 022/137 U.S. History 2: Evaluate Sources

US HIST 1 = HIST 021 / 136 and US HIST 2 = HIST 022 / 137

Evaluate Your Sources

Maybe it was easy to find, but is it good? 

Assess: Does this information belong in my academic project or is it .... CRAP? 

  •  How recent is the information?
  •  If a website, how recently has it been updated?
  •  Is it current enough for your topic? (Is this a  field with rapidly changing information?)
  • Is content of the resource primarily opinion? Is  it balanced?
  •  Does the creator provide citations or sources?
  •  Can you verify the info elsewhere?
Authority / Accuracy
  • Can you find the credentials of the author or  creator of the information? (if a website - check the "about" page)
  •  If a website, is a known, objective organization responsible for the information (example: .gov, .org, .edu domains)?
  •  Are there obvious errors or typos?
Purpose / Point of View

Is the information fact or opinion?

  •  Who is the intended audience?
  •  Are there advertisements?
  •  Is the creator/author trying to:
    • Sell you  something?
    • Inform you?
    • Entertain?
    • Persuade?  
  •  What is the publisher’s interest (if any) in this  information? Can you determine if the publisher  has a political, religious, or other ideology to  promote?

Try It!

Test Yourself

Click on the website below and consider two questions:

  1. Would this be a good source to use for your research paper?  Why or why not?
  2. Who is the author? What can you click on or how can you manipulate the website to find out this information?