9 Evaluating Sources

Evaluating sources involves thinking critically and having a curious, questioning mindset.

Evaluating sources often occurs in phases – when you first find a source (quick evaluation), and when you review the sources you’ve gathered and choose which ones you will use. Consider the “who, what, when, where, why” of the sources you select.

With careful evaluation, you select relevant information that will inform your research, provide evidence for your arguments, and bring  you into the scholarly conversation about your topic.  Recognize that there may be multiple perspectives about a given issue or topic, even among experts and scholars.

Consider the questions in the graphic below, “Scholarship as Conversation.” Ask a librarian if you need help!

Scholarship as Conversation questions

Refer to the OWL (Online Writing Lab from Purdue) guide to evaluating sources.

More information is available through the library’s DIY Research Process guide. DIY Research

“Evaluate” © 2020 Bucknell University. All rights reserved.
“DIY Research” © 2020 Bucknell University. All rights reserved.
Scholarship as Conversation” © 2015 Bucknell University, Bertrand Library Research Services, is adapted from “Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education” by ACRL, and is licensed CC BY NC SA.

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Information Literacy Foundations by Nancy Frazier and Research Services, Bucknell University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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