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Internet Search Tools

A guide introducing users to a variety of internet search tools and how they work.

Why Evaluate?

Evaluating the sources you have found is a key component of successful academic writing.  The first part of evaluating sources is to make certain that the source fits the three criteria of a scholarly academic source discussed previously.  Remember those three criteria are used for not only scholarly academic journal articles but also for books and websites.


The second equally important part of evaluating sources is to choose the best source for your topic.  You can have the best article that meets all of the scholarly criteria, but if it doesn't fit your topic it is not useful to you.

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.  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.


2.  Do the sources contain a bibliography, footnotes, endnotes, or other citations?  If Yes, approximately how many different sources are cited? 


What types of sources does this source cite?  Are those sources reliable?


3.  Who is the intended audience for each source?


4.  Skimming the source, do the sources present primarily fact, an equal mix of facts and opinions, or mostly opinion with a bit of fact?


5.  Comparing the two sources, does one author have better qualifications?  Which one and why?


6.  Do the authors agree with each other?  On which points?


7.  Do the authors disagree wtih each other?  On which points?


8.  Does the information presented substantially add to your paper? 


9.  Does one source stand out as better fulfilling the scholarly requirements or being more detailed and factually accurate?


10.  Which one source (if either) would you use in your paper?

Subject Guide

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Leslie Starasta
Jessie C. Eury Library
Lincoln Christian University
217.732.7788 x.. 2203