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How to Do Research

Is the information that you have found reliable? How do you know? Use the following checklist to assess the reliability of your information source:

• Is the purpose of the information to inform, explain, persuade, market a product, or advocate a cause?
• Is the content intended to be a brief overview of the information or an in-depth analysis?
• Is it intended for the general public, scholars, practitioners, etc.?
• Does it meet the needs of its stated audience?
• If the author is an individual, what are the author's credentials and affiliation?
• If the author is an institution, what is its purpose?
• Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, or institutional biases?
• Is the information substantiated and documented?
• Is there a list of references used by the author?
• Is your information source professionally written?
• Is it well-organized?
• Does the conclusion support the thesis?
• Is the information source dated?
• Is it appropriately current for your information need?
• What is the source of publication?
• Is it a university press, a government agency, an established publishing house, a special-interest organization, or an individual?

Unit 5: Evaluating Information: 5 of 7

Why Evaluate Information Resources? | What are the Criteria? | Authority | Objectivity | Reliability | Timeliness | Coverage

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Last updated: Tuesday, 20-Aug-2002 15:59:26 EDT

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