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.

EES1125 Contaminated Site Remediation

Evaluating Quality Sources

What does it mean for a source to be credible? Why is it important to use these sources? How can you tell if a source is credible?

Evaluate Sources

Evaluating Sources

Criteria for deciding which articles best support the ideas and arguments in your paper:

Scope                    

  • What is the purpose of the resource and what does it contain?
  • Is it comprehensive and does it explore the subject in depth?
  • What does it exclude? Are any limitations discussed?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • Is it too basic or too technical for your needs?

Authority            

  • Is the author's name given?
  • Are her/his qualifications specified? 
  • Is the author an expert in this field?
  • Is the author affiliated with a reputable institution or organization?
  • What is the author's relationship to the information contained in the source?
  • Has the author written elsewhere on this topic?
  • If it is an organization or business website, are they qualified to speak on this topic?
  • Are additional electronic and print sources referenced to complement or support the material presented?
  • Has this author been cited by others?

Objectivity        

  • Does the information provided inform, explain, persuade?
  • Is the author's point of view impartial and objective?
  • Are counter-arguments acknowledged?
  • Does it contain facts, opinions, or biases?

Accuracy            

  • Is the information factual, not opinion?
  • How valid is the research that is the source?
  • Are the results accurate, and are they supported by the data and methodology presented?
  • Does this support or contradict other articles?
  • Are references to other works given?
  • For websites: Is the site free of errors in spelling or grammar and other signs of carelessness in its presentation of the material?

Currency           

  • Is the content of the work current?
  • Is a publication date or the date of the most recent update (website) provided?
  • Is timeliness important?

Adapted from Hanover College Library