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Evaluating Information: Middle School: Home

introduction

Always be alert to the information you 'consume'. Your reputation, personal and academic, depends on the information you share with others. If you spread false or misleading ideas, your reputation suffers. Social Media is cluttered with individuals and groups trying to sell you the next best product. They will quote misleading information to encourage you to buy their product. Be aware and beware. Take the time to evaluate who they are and what they are claiming. Can you trust them? How can you tell? Research the authors of websites to determine whether they really are who they claim to be. It is no different with your academic research; take the time to evaluate the sources you find to determine if they are worthy to use. Use the following set of criteria to help.

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Credibility

You can consider a source is credible if you believe it to be reliable. To help you determine this answer one or two of the following questions:

Does the author have credentials or education experience in the area in which they are writing?

Does the author draw on primary and secondary sources of information and do they cite their sources?

Can you check the evidence easily?

When was the work written?

Utility

Utility refers to the usefulness of the source to your inquiry. Again, to determine how useful the source will be answer one or two of the following questions:

Which focus questions does the information help you to answer?

How would you use the information in your inquiry?

How difficult is the language to understand?

 

Perspective

What perspective is represented in the source?

Is the information informative or persuasive?

Did the author consider multiple views in the same manner?

What is the author's point of view and does the author support this view with credible facts?