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.

Research 101

Evaluating Sources

When you are evaluating information it is important to evaluate the information on the following criteria:

Currency Is there a date on the information? When was the information last updated?

Relevancy Does the information meet your needs that you are looking for? What does the information add to your research? 

Authority Who is the author of the information? What credentials does the author have to write about the subject? Is the author qualified to write about the topic?

Accuracy Are the sources using factual information so that it can be verified?  Can you verify any of the information in independent sources? Has the information been reviewed? Is the information free of errors e.g. spelling an grammar.

Purpose Who is the intended audience? Is the purpose to inform or Teach? Explain? Entertain? To sell something?



Research Companion

Research Companion Tools

Research Companion has embedded tools such as Topic and Search Aids, and Source Evaluation Aid, to get you to the information you need. The tools are easy to use and they also have a video tutorial on how to use the tools. Click on the tabs for each tool and click on the link that will take you to the available tool.

  • The Source Evaluation Aid makes evaluating research resources easy—a simple search box allows the user to type in the title of a periodical or book, or copy and paste a URL, and data results about that source are displayed.
  • The Search Aid helps students develop more effective search queries.
  • Topic Aid connects students to topic overviews and helps them choose a topic they're really interested in.
  • The Revision Aid helps researchers write more clearly and persuasively.

Enter single words (e.g., "terrorism") or general terms (e.g., "climate change") into the box below. Get topic suggestions and links to topic overviews.

Enter one or more keywords into the box below, and get suggestions for alternative search terms. 

Enter the information of the source that you are trying to evaluate in the search bar and pick which type of resource it is.

Choose the type of source you are citing, fill in the information or the link of the source and choose the citation format.

Paste your paper in the Revision Tool for:

  • passive constructions
  • sentences that may be too long for easy reading
  • words that may be misused
  • phrases that may be covering up inadequate evidence, poor organization, or a forced transition