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Questions to Consider When Evaluating Sources
Consider the 5 "Ws" when evaluating websites:
Your Overall Impression
What is your thinking about this source?
Is this useful to you?
Is it a high-quality source you would use in a paper or presentation?
Who wrote this source?
- What can you find about about the author of this source?
- Do they have a degree or expertise related to this topic?
What is the content of the source?
- Is the content relevant or useful to you?
- Is the content credible? Does it support what you found in other sources?
- What does the content look like?
- Does it have advertisements?
- Does it look like a professional source?
- Does it include a bibliography or citations to help you track down where the author found their information?
When was the source published?
- Is there a date the source was:
- last updated?
- copyright date?
Where was the source published?
- What type of source is it? Is it a:
- Newspaper/magazine article?
- Scholarly journal article?
- Personal blog?
- Government document?
- Non-profit organization?
- What is the quality of that type of source?
- Is the source edited or reviewed before being published online?
Why was the source published?
- What is its purpose?
- To inform?
- To sell something?
- To persuade the reader of a point of view?
- Does the source have a bias or argue for a particular point-of-view?
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