evaluate a resource

Consider the following when choosing resources for your paper:

  1. Authorship and Authority (Gibaldi 41-45)
    •  Author Credential information:
      • Educational degrees such as PhD, MD, etc.
      • Affiliations such as schools, research facilities or other organizations
      • Work experience.
      • Note: In some cases, an organization or corporation may be responsible for a work.
    • Publisher and publication information:
      • Scholarly, refereed or peer reviewed journal articles undergo a higher level of screening by experts in the field prior to being published.
      • Publishers may be associated with educational institutions such as universities or national professional organizations such as American Psychological Association.
  2. Accuracy and Verifiability (Gibaldi 41-45)
    •  Bias or point of view
      • Look at the author affiliations or publication affiliation for potential sources of bias.
      • Note the wording of the work including the tone.
      • Note how thoroughly the author explores differing opinions.
    • Verifiability
      • Determine if the author has citations backing up any claims within a work.
      • If there is a question concerning the information, see if other sources are claiming the same thing.
  3. Currency (Gibaldi 41-45)
    • The date of publication may effect how accurate it is. Certain types of information such as scientific writing have a shorter shelf-life than others. An older article on current trends in heart surgery would not be a credible source. However, an older English literature essay may or may not be a good source.
    • The date of publication may have an affect on point of view or bias. For example, an article on feminism from the 1950s may present a biased account.

Gibaldi, Joseph.  MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed.

New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2003. Print.

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