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Maple Woods - Comm 100 (Bridges)

Pro/Con Databases

Evaluating Articles

Is the author identified?  Are author credentials listed?  (Look at the end of the article or at the bottom of the first page.)

Check the date for currency.  Is this important for your topic?

Look at the length of the article.  Is it long enough to provide sufficient content?

What is the level of language:  Easy enough for a child? Generally understood by an adult? Scholarly? Technical?

Is the information accurate?  (Compare with other sources.)  Are sources cited?

Does the article contain a list of references at the end?

What is the purpose of the article:  To inform?  Persuade?  Entertain? 

What type of publication is it:  Scholarly? Professional  or technical? General interest? Newspaper? 

Does the publication that the article is in have a bias?  Does it present different points of view? Editorials, op-ed pieces, and commentary will almost always present an opinion or bias, but other articles may, too.

Evaluating Articles - Tips

Look at the publication (the journal, magazine, or newspaper the article appears in) and check to make sure it's appropriate for your project. Some databases include articles from children's magazines. 

Avoid book reviews. These provide information about a book, not your topic. Book reviews usually include information about the book such as title, author, and page number near the top of the review.