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Evaluating sources

Evaluating Sources & Critical Thinking

The Internet contains millions of web pages and more information than a single person could ever process. People are very reliant on digital content for their news and entertainment. When people get their information from online news outlets, social media, and online publications, it can be difficult to identify biased or inaccurate sources. You may need to review multiple sources to confirm information or seek out original sources to verify information. 

  • Is it relevant to your topic?
  • Are there clues that tell you the author is an expert on the content?
  • Does the information advocate for a particular stance or from a specific angle?
  • Who created this information?
  • Is there evidence for any claims made or facts presented?
  • Are there links to original sources or references?
  • Why was this information created?
  • Whose voice does this information represent and amplify?
  • Is the information timely, or does it need to be? Is it historical information?
  • Who is the audience the content was written for? Is it overly simplified or overly complicated?
  • Can you find other reliable sources that corroborate the information?
  • Are there better sources that exist on this topic?

How Algorithms Lead to Oppression

Filter Bubbles & Search Engines

Scholarly, Popular or Trade

Many research papers require scholarly journal articles as sources. Do you know what they are and how to differentiate them from popular and trade magazine articles? Check out the comparison table below to learn more about the differences between scholarly, popular and trade publications.



Source: NSCU LibrariesSt. Cloud State University 


Scholarly vs Popular Sources by McMaster Libraries 

Peer Review in 3 Minutes by NCSU Libraries 

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