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Education Resources for Research: Evaluating Resources

Suggested resources for all types of educational research.

Question and Evaluate

 

Always evaluate your resources.  Think about:

  1. Authority - Is the author listed
  2. Objectivity - Is there a bias
  3. Audience - Who is meant to read this.
  4. Currency - Is the material dated
  5. Accuracy - Is the content reliable
  6. Coverage - Is the material in-depth

Tools to Help Evaluate Sources

The following links provide in-depth explanations and charts to evaluate sources.

First Steps

There are two major steps when evaluating a resource. Look for the who, where, when, what, and why of the work.

1. Who, Where, When

  • Author
    • What qualifications does the author possess
    • Is the author associated with a University or College
  • Date of Publication
    • When was the work written
    • Are there other editions or revisions available
  • Publisher Information
    • University Press
    • Commercial Press
    • Journal, Magazine, Newspaper, Series, Book

2. What, Why

  • Audience for a specialist, college student, or the general public
  • Fact or Opinion, Evidence or Conjecture
  • Coverage
    • In-depth or Brief
    • Primary or Secondary Resources
  • Relevant to your research topic
  • Style
    • Is the work organized
    • Is the vocabulary appropriate to the content
  • References and cross-references provided

Wikipedia

The Wikipedia Foundation has implemented an editing policy to provide greater oversight of certain articles.  This change is expected to improve Wikipedia's accuracy and credibiliity.  That said, the information in the resources listed below still holds.