When looking at your search results do not just pick the top article and hope it’s reliable and on topic. You must evaluate your sources, whether you’re using a book, article, or web site. Here are some tips.
A: Authority – Who wrote it? Who published it? Are the author’s qualifications/background listed?
S: Sources – What sources did the author use? (Look for a bibliography/works cited)
P: Purpose – What’s the purpose of the content? (persuade/convince, inform/educate, report research)
E: Evenness – Are all sides evenly covered? (Is there any bias or is it fairly objective?)
C: Coverage – What’s covered? What’s left out?
T: Timeliness – When was it written? Is it current enough for your needs?
Below are tutorials that will help you evaluate sources you discover during your research.
The C.R.A.P. Test in Action: Websites (Portland State University)
Evaluating Sources (Columbia State Community College)
Evaluating Sources for Credibility (North Carolina State University)
Web Evaluation Practice (Developed by 21st Century Information Fluency)
Evaluating Web Sites Checklist (University of Maryland Libraries)