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SOAD R209 Apparel Industries

Evaluating Sources: Key Questions


  • When was the source published?
  • Do you need current information?

Some research topics will require more up-to-date information than do others. (For example, scientific topics tend to require more current sources than do many humanities-focused topics.)


  • For whom is the source intended?
  • What is the publication's purpose or scope?
  • Is this a scholarly or popular source? A professional/trade journal?


  • What does the source add to an understanding of your topic or argument?
  • How does the source relate to other information you have found?
  • How does the source relate to your ideas or argument?
  • Is there a list of references? It can point you to other relevant sources.


  • What are the authors' credentials or background in this area?
  • Has this author written other articles, papers, reports or books on this same topic?


  • Does the author present multiple sides of issues??
  • Has this author provided sufficient evidence?
  • Does the author use highly charged or emotional language?
    (Almost all sources have some degree of bias. A well-reasoned argument, however, considers multiple viewpoints.)