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University of Portland Clark Library

ENG 107: College Writing (Ward): Evaluating Sources

Questions to Consider When Evaluating Sources

  • Who wrote this source?  What is their background or expertise in this area?
  • What is the content of the source? Is it relevant or useful to you? Is it credible? Does it include a bibliography or citations to help you track down where the author found their information?
  • When was the source published?
  • Where was the source published? Does that source use a review process (such as peer review or editing)? 
  • Why was the source published? What is its purpose?
  • Overall: What is your thinking about this source? Is this useful to you? Would you cite it in a paper?

What is Peer Review?

Levels of Evidence Pyramid

Evidence pyramid with opinion pieces at bottom, followed by newspapers/encyclopedia articles, followed by books, followed by scholarly journal articles.

Text of the pyramid above for web accessibility (from top-to-bottom):

Scholarly Journal Articles

Academic Books

Newspapers, Magazines, Encyclopedia Articles

Opinion: Advocacy websites, blog posts, tweets, etc. Editorials/Letters to the Editor

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