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Evaluate & Choose Quality Sources: Are my Sources of Sufficient Quality?

Peer-Reviewed, Popular… or in Between?

Questions to Ask when Evaluating Articles

  Scholarly, Peer-reviewed, Professional Journals Popular Magazines
Examples Harvard Business Review; American Journal of Sociology; Modern Language Notes

Newsweek; Sports Illustrated; People; National Geographic; Wired

What is “the look”? Somber, serious with graphs and tables. Few, if any, pictures. Attractive, slick with lots of pictures and advertisements.
Who is the audience? Other professionals in the field or discipline. Language is scholarly and subject specific. General audience. Language relative to the topic. Articles can be short and lacking depth.
What is the purpose? To report original research or experimentation or persuade based on research.

To entertain, to sell, or to promote a viewpoint.

Who wrote the article? A scholar or researcher often with an institutional or academic affiliation.

Freelance writers, magazine staff or a well-known person not necessarily an expert in the field.

How carefully is it documented? Always has references, footnotes and/or a bibliography. Follows a style like APA or MLA. Rarely cites sources or makes broad references to sources.

Is it peer reviewed?

This video shows you different ways to check whether an article is peer-reviewed. 

The C.R.A.P. Test in Action Video: Articles

This video demonstrates how you can use the C.R.A.P. test (Currency, Reliability, Authority, and Purpose/Point of View) to evaluate articles.

The C.R.A.P. Test in Action Video: Websites

This video demonstrates how you can use the C.R.A.P. test (Currency, Reliability, Authority, and Purpose/Point of View) to evaluate websites.