Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Research Help

This guide will help you at all stages of the research process, from choosing a topic to citing your sources.

See below for text from this infographic.

Evaluating Sources

As a researcher, it is your job to assess the sources you find to determine if they are usable for college level research and how you can use them. Consider the following questions as you evaluate the sources you find

Who?

  • Who created this source? What qualifies them to talk about this topic?

    • What other sources have they published?  

  • Who are they citing in their work? Do those sources seem credible? 

What?

  • What type of source is this?

    • Where was it published?

    • Does that source type have a review process?  

  • What type of information does it contain?

    • Empirical research?

    • A subjective (opinion) piece?

    • Objective topic overview? 

When?

  • When was the source published?  

  • When was it last updated?  

  • Is this information still relevant? 

Why?

  • Why was this source created?

    • What motivated the creator or sponsor of this source?

    • Is it trying to persuade you of something?

    • What biases are present? 

  • Why should you use it? What does it provide to your argument?

Need more help? Ask a librarian!

library@csmd.edu