Eagleton, Maya B., and Elizabeth Dobler. Reading the Web: Strategies for Internet Inquiry. New York: Guilford, 2007. Print.
(Reprinted with permission of the Guilford Press)
Evaluating your sources requires reading with a critical lens. Asking these questions as you read will help your research:
1. Am I reading facts that are presented to inform? Or am I reading an argument designed to persuade?
2. If an argument, what is the author's claim and what evidence/data is used to support the claim? What analysis/reasoning/warrant is used to convince readers, either through logic or emotion?
3. How has the author's background influenced his/her perspective?
4. What other sources corroborate this information? What other perspectives need to be included?
Not only do you want to evaluate the quality of your sources for Purpose, Authority, Currency and Accuracy you also want to ask yourself - are they helpful to your research task?
Reflect on your process so far by asking yourself the following questions:
1. What have I learned so far?
2. What could I argue with this information or what will be my claim?
3. What additional information do I need to make a focused argument?
4. Should I abandon some of these sources and/or find new ones?
5. What are some new concepts, keywords, or subject terms I'll use to find additional information?
6. What databases and other sources have I tried so far? What additional sources should I try?