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Graduate Management Writing: Evaluating Sources

Research guide for MAM and MBA students in the Graduate Management Writing course.

Evaluation Tutorials From Other Libraries

Evaluation Criteria to Consider when Evaluating Sources

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When choosing sources it is important for you to evaluate each one to ensure that you have the best quality source for your project. Here are common categories and questions for you to consider.

Authority:

  • Who is responsible for the intellectual content within the resource?
  • Does the author provide contact information?
  • What are the author's credentials?
  • Where does the author work?
  • Where is the source published?
  • Is the publisher well known?
  • For web sites, who is sponsoring the web site?
  • For web sites, what is the domain (.com, .gov, .edu, etc.)?

Accuracy:

  • What are the author's research methods?
  • Does the author provide supportive evidence?
  • Have other scholar's cited this author?
  • Is the information accurate, credible?
  • Is the spelling and grammar correct?

Objectivity:

  • What are the goals and objectives of the author?
  • What is the purpose of the source? (To inform? To explain? To persuade? To advertise? Something else?)
  • Is the information within the source biased?
  • Why was the source created?
  • Who was the source created for? (ex. general population, other scholars, etc.)
  • For web sites, are there advertisements?

Currency:

  • How old is the information within the source?
  • When was the document produced?
  • When was the last time the source updated?
  • For websites, are the links alive or dead?