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POLS 1010: American National Government - Dr. Linda Trautman   Tags: comparative politics, government, presidential elections  

Use this guide to research your Political Science research papers.
Last Updated: Dec 8, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Evaluate Print Page


How To Evaluate Articles & Books

The quality of your research project is related to the quality of the sources you use. 
Evaluate the articles, books and other sources you find as you do your research.

Author /Editor

  • Who is the author or editor?
       The author or editor (one or more people or organizations) should be identified.


  • Who published this information?
    • The organization(s) that published and/or sponsored the information source should be identified.


  • Is the content relevant to your paper?
    • It should cover the specific aspects of your topic.
    • If timeliness is important, the content should be up-to-date.  (Check the publication date or, for web sites, the date of the last update.)
  • Is the content accurate and unbiased?
    • It should be well thought out, well presented, and well supported with reliable sources that can be checked.  (If available,look at the bibliography or works cited for this.)
    • It should be unbiased.  Keep in mind that a bias can be obvious or subtle.  It can be hard to perceive a bias if you tend to agree with the arguments presented.

 Adapted from Janice Gustaferro's LibGuide, FYS - Metamorphosis.  Butler University Libraries.



Evaluate Websites


Ask yourself these questions to determine if the website
is one you should use:

Currency - Based on your topic, is that current enough?

Reliability -  Is the information balanced or biased?

Accuracy - Is the information supported by evidence?

Authority - Can you find who the creator/author is?
                   (Try the "About Us" or "Mission" links.)

Purpose/Point of View - What's the intent of the website, (to persuade you,
                   sell something, etc.)?

Based on the original CRAP TEST created by Librarian Molly Beestrum, Dominican University; and Vanderbilt Library's adaptation.



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