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HIS 498C: India's Partition: Evaluating Sources

Evaluation

Finding sources is only the first part of the research process. Once you locate sources, you need to be able to evaluate them to see if they're appropriate not only for a college paper but for your paper.

This is mostly about applying critical thinking skills and common sense.

Evaluate by applying the CRAAP test

Things to Watch Out For

  • Self-published material (this means it hasn't been edited or reviewed by someone else)
  • No author named
  • Inflammatory or emotional language
  • Statistics, facts, or research referred to but not cited
  • Opinions presented as fact
  • Statements/conclusions that contradict other credible sources

ART: Authorship, Relevance, Timeliness

Authorship:

  • Who wrote and produced the source?
  • What can you find out about the author?
  • Is the author qualified to treat the information in the source?
  • What bias does the author display toward the topic?

Relevance:

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level for you?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is the one you will use?

Timeliness:

  • When was the source written relative to the events it discusses?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?