Now that you have narrowed your list of sources, you will need to decide which ones best support your inquiry question. Consider the following questions to help you critically evaluate your sources:
- Audience - Who is this written for? What do the style and publication type tell you about the intended audience?
- Author - What are their credentials and what have they done in the field? For example, what degree(s) do they hold and/or what else have they published?
- Author affiliations - Who does the author work for and/or did someone sponsor their research? Does anyone stand to gain or profit from the author's findings?
- Bias/Perspective - Does the source present a neutral set of findings or is it clearly biased? Does the author's perspective slant the information or findings?
- Credibility - What gives the author license to write about this topic?
- Date - Is the date appropriate for your area of study?
- Length - Is the source an appropriate length?
- Publication details - What kind of publication is it, e.g. scholarly article, blog, newspaper? What are the limitations of that type of publication?
- Relevance - Is the source related to you topic and does it support your research?
Research Source Analysis Worksheet
This worksheet will help you analyze and keep track of your sources. It includes fields for source details, evaluation, and notes. To use it, click on this link to open the worksheet in your browser, then select File > Download as. You can save the file as a Word document or text file allowing you to copy and paste the tables to add more sources.