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Hope Library Guides

ENGL 113 - DeNotto: Considering Sources

Consider the Source: Is it popular? Is it scholarly? Is it something else? What kinds of sources do I need for this research project?

Compare and contrast these two sources, thinking about these things:

  • What do the two articles have in common?

  • Who wrote each article? Are they an expert or authority on the topic? Is the author or the information presented credible? Trustworthy? 

  • Who published this?

  • For what type of audience is this written? (note vocabulary/jargon, writing style, depth of content, etc.)

  • Which one took longer to write? (Why might that matter?)

  • Are these "good" sources? Are they "reliable" sources? What makes a source "good" or "reliable"? How can we tell? Does it depend on context?

Source Types and Your Information Needs

Consider the following when it comes to what type of source you need for a particular assignment or task.  You don't always need scholarly articles, but sometimes you do!

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Consider the type of information a particular type of source is likely to have. For instance, if dealing with a very recent issue, newspapers or periodicals might be your best bet, as it can take a long time for the scholarly review process (typically).

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And, here note the Examples, as well as the Criteria for types of sources.

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Evaluating News Sources

All Sides

Just because something is from a supposedly biased source, does that mean we disregard it altogether? Is the information true but presented deceptively? Can authors be biased? Can publications be biased?

Media Bias/Fact Check

What criteria does this website use to determine bias? What criteria or sources does it use to evaluate fact checking?

Why should we trust this website? Should we?

Look up some of your favorite news sources and see what it has to say.

Popular Vs. Scholarly Tutorial

Still not sure about what makes a source scholarly vs popular? Take this helpful and quick tutorial Here.