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evaluate a resource
Consider the following when choosing resources for your paper:
Authorship and Authority (Gibaldi 41-45)
Author Credential information:
Educational degrees such as PhD, MD, etc.
Affiliations such as schools, research facilities or other organizations
Note: In some cases, an organization or corporation may be responsible for a work.
Publisher and publication information:
Scholarly, refereed or peer reviewed journal articles undergo a higher level of screening by experts in the field prior to being published.
Publishers may be associated with educational institutions such as universities or national professional organizations such as American Psychological Association.
Accuracy and Verifiability (Gibaldi 41-45)
Bias or point of view
Look at the author affiliations or publication affiliation for potential sources of bias.
Note the wording of the work including the tone.
Note how thoroughly the author explores differing opinions.
Determine if the author has citations backing up any claims within a work.
If there is a question concerning the information, see if other sources are claiming the same thing.
Currency (Gibaldi 41-45)
The date of publication may affect how accurate it is. Certain types of information such as scientific writing have a shorter shelf-life than others. An older article on current trends in heart surgery would not be a credible source. However, an older English literature essay may or may not be a good source.
The date of publication may have an affect on point of view or bias. For example, an article on feminism from the 1950s may present a biased account.
Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed.
New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2003. Print.