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.

Writing Studies 1

A guide for Written Composition courses at Lincoln Christian University

Is This the Best Source?

Consider the following questions to determine if a source is the Best Source for your specific paper and topic.

1. Who is the author of the source you are evaluating?

  • What are the author(s) qualifications or background for each source?  Hint:  If you can't find it on the site you might need to google the author's name or the organization.
  • Where did the author recieve credentials or qualifications? 
  • When comparing two sources, does one author have better credentials or qualifications than another?

2. Who is the intended audience for this source?

  • Is this audience appropriate for an academic paper?

3. What sources are cited in the source you are evaluating?

  • What type of citations are used (bibliography, footnotes, endnotes, or other citations)? 
  • Approximately how many different sources are cited? 
  • What types of sources does this source cite? Are those sources reliable?

4. What information does the source contain?

  •  Skimming the source, do the sources present primarily fact, an equal mix of facts and opinions, or mostly opinion with a bit of fact?
  • Does the source contains a variety of statistics useful to to your argument?  Does the source present new ideas to incorporate?

5. When was the source written?

  • Does the source provide more current information that adds to or supersedes information provided in other sources?
  • Does the source use more current citations than others you are considering?

6. Why did the author write this source?

  • Did they complete a study and are sharing the results?
  • Do they have a vested interest in this topic?  Do they have a "beef" about this issue?

7. What bias does the author have? 

8. How are you going to utilize this source in your paper?

9. Why is this source better than others you have found?