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ENGL 1001: The Dying of the Light

Video Tutorial

Click on the image above to view the Evaluating Sources for Credibility video from North Carolina State University Libraries.

Scholarly vs Popular

Popular Articles [Magazines]

  • Are often written by journalist or professional writers for a general audience
  • Use language easily understood by general readers
  • Includes few, if any, citations for sources
  • Tend to be shorter (1-5 pages)

Scholarly Journal Articles

  • Written by and for scholars, faculty, and researchers
  • Uses technical or scholarly language
  • Tend to be longer articles (10-30 pages) about research
  • Includes a lengthy list of references
  • Are often refereed or peer-reviewed [articles are critically reviewed by scholars/experts in the field before being accepted for publication]
  • Book reviews and editorials are not considered scholarly, even when found in a scholarly journal

*Both magazine and scholarly journal articles can be good sources for your work, depending on your purpose and your assignment

ABC's of Resource Evaluation

Authority - Author's Level of Expertise

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?

Bias - Author's Point of View

  • Is the information fact, opinion, or propaganda?
  • What is the purpose of the information?  Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain, or persuade?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?
  • Is the information backed by research?  Is a list of references provided?

Currency - Date of Publication

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Does your topic require current information, or will older information work as well?

And.... Relevance

  • Is the source appropriate for your purposes [in this case, does the source meet the requirements of your assignment]?
  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level [i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs]?