Here’s How You Can Critically Evaluate Your Academic Sources!

February 8, 2022

The time and efforts spent in finding relevant sources for projects don’t end up well for most as it is equally important to ensure that they’re credible and authoritative sources. After all, you’re going to use them to support your factual claims or arguments in your project or papers. Evaluating information sources is vital because it makes one consider the validity, reliability, accuracy, authority, and many more crucial things.

The internet allows everyone to publish articles or content on their websites. Therefore, the probability of referencing inappropriate information is high because most of the content has not gone through the process of editorial review. Further, if it’s possible, one should seek help from an experienced academician. Other than that, the below-mentioned points are an easy way to critically evaluate academic sources.

Check Website Address

Evaluating websites takes some time, and is a bit challenging too. However, you can easily evaluate the website with these simple steps:

  • Step 1 (Website should be well maintained): Broken links and out-of-date information are the biggest red flags. Look for signs which tell you that the content is regularly updated. If you’re not able to find out the publishing dates, and it’s not clear when the site was updated the last time, don’t use it as a source.
  • Step 2 (Relevant information): Some websites may not be ideal for your audience. The target audience may differ, keep this in mind while you reference sites. 
  • Step 3 (Know the Author): A great way to know the ins and outs of any website is to read theirs about us or similar pages. The purpose behind building a website is to shed some light on the visitor. It becomes much easier to understand the quality of the service via the website.
  • Step 4 (Correctness): Supportive articles and research papers are a good sign of authority and genuine content. Click on the sources on the websites and analyze the information yourself. 

Search Scholarly databases 

Scholarly sources seek to keep the readers up to date with the research on a specific field. Moreover, the information is strictly provided by only the experts in those fields. Therefore, scholarly sources are ideal for research and project papers. It boosts the quality and authority of any paper that is properly created. Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic, Educational Resources Information Center are some of the best scholarly databases.

How to discern Scholarly sources?

Use the following points to identify scholarly sources;

Check the Author:

Look for the author’s name and credentials. Then, compare the credentials to what’s been written about the author on the website.

About the Publishers:

If the publishers are an academic institution, professional or scholarly organization, then you can use this source once you know the purpose behind publishing this data. 

Is the content suitable for the general public:

Certain websites are designed for people with certain disciplines. Find out if it’s suitable for all persons.

Check the references:

Are the graphs, bibliographies, and tables a part of the content or not? Is the article long? Is the article concluding the point based on the evidence?

How can a private tutor help?

If you’re searching for the best private tutor and Academician, then, an incredible private tutor and academician can help you out with this.

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