Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

HIST 101: Evaluating Information

Tips for Evaluating Information

Here are some things to look for when you're evaluating a Web site or a source other than an article found through a library database, book, etc.

Currency

Simply speaks to the recency of published information.  Is the information outdated for the topic you're studying?

Authorship

Locate the author of a publication, Web site, etc. Is he or she qualified to speak on a given topic?

Sponsorship

Sometimes a sponsor will have a hidden agenda.  This is something that I learned when looking for the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) in SourceWatch.  

Purpose/Audience

Ties in with authorship and sponsorship.  What is the intent of the Web site or publication?

Accuracy

Is the information found on a given Web site, book, etc. accurate?  If an author lists the wrong dates for World War I, the accuracy of the remaining information is thrown into question.

From: 

Hacker, Diana, and Barbara Fister.  (2009). "Tips for Evaluating Sources."  Bedford/St. Martin's.com. Bedford St. Martin's, n.d. Web. 19 Aug. 2011.  Retrieved from http://www.dianahacker.com/resdoc/tips.html.

Quaratiello, Arlene, and Jane Devine. The College Student's Research Companion: Finding, Evaluating, and Citing the Resources You Need to Succeed. New York: Neal-Schuman, 2011.