Evaluating Sources Quiz

Use this quiz to evaluate sources for your research.  You will evaluate the source based on its: currency, relevancy, authority, accuracy, and purpose. Always use your own judgment when evaluating sources.

1. Is the source current enough for my research?

Consider:
When was the information published or posted?
Does my topic require current information, or are older sources appropriate?

Yes             No             Maybe

2. Is the source relevant to my research?

Consider:
Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too basic or advanced)?
Would you be comfortable citing this source for your research?

Yes             No             Maybe

3. Does the source have good authority over the subject?

Consider:
Can you determine who the author is?
Is the author qualified to write on the topic?

Yes             No             Maybe

4. From what you can tell, does the information seem accurate?

Consider:
Is the information supported by evidence?
Does the language or tone seem unbiased?
Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?

Yes             No             Maybe

5. Is the purpose of the source to teach or inform? 

Consider:
Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
Does the point of view appear objective?

Yes             No            Maybe

For every Yes, add 3 points. For every No, subtract a point. For “Maybe”, add nothing.

Total:
12‐15: the source is probably okay to use, but may have some issues 
9‐12: use with caution—especially if you don’t know the authority 
0‐8: stay away!

This test was adapted from a test developed by librarians at the Meriam Library at California State University Chico.
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