Evaluating Sources Analyzing Guide

Some students and even adult people with a degree still believe that the internet is the last instance of the truth. However, not all that is on the web is correct. Well, let us be open: most things that are on the Web aren’t worth your attention if you are working on a serious paper.

So, here is when the issue of evaluating sources becomes extremely important for your paper and your grade. How to evaluate sources correctly? Are there any criteria that could help you identify whether the source could be used or not? Which sources can be used, and which of them should be avoided? Are there any exceptions and in which cases can they be used? How to check your sources appropriately?

How to Evaluate a Source: Detailed Instruction

Okay, and how to evaluate a source? What are those credibility criteria that you should pay attention to? How could you see if you can use the information provided in the selected source, or should you avoid it? Is it possible that a part of the data is reliable, while another part is based on gossips and rumors? How should you identify which of them are quality sources and which could be classified as gossips worth rainbow publications?

What Makes a Good Source: Major Features

Yes, there are particular requirements. If you are looking for sources that you can use for your paper, make sure that those are reliable sources and that they provide the correct information. Of course, there might be some exceptions, but you should use them only when there is no other solution. So, when you are looking for what makes a good source, check the list:

  • It is published in reputable journals which are known in the field you work in or study.
  • It is recommended by your teacher, here, there is no doubt about whether to use the source or not.
  • It is mentioned in your curriculum.
  • The author is famous in the field, so, when you are citing the author, you are citing an opinion of an expert, which is always advantageous.
  • Maybe you can find something published by your teacher? That will make him happier, and you will be able to use one more great source.

These are just some general points. If your source complies with one of them, you can use it for your essay. However, when you are evaluating sources for research papers, the requirements will be very high. The situation is more or less clear when we speak about books or journals. But even those sources, which are supposed to be so reliable cannot be used blindly. And what to do when you are evaluating online sources? How to determine if you can use one?

Tips on Evaluating Sources for Different Papers

There are very many tips on evaluating sources. It doesn’t mean, that you should consider all of them. However, the more requirements you have for the paper that might be used as a source, the better. The more you demand, the more protected you are. Well, you don’t want to end up with some rumors in your scientific or research paper, do you?

  • As we have mentioned, the source should be taken from a reputable journal.
  • It is always better when your source is taken from specialized scholarly resources or libraries.
  • Information should be recent: well, if you are writing medical research, you would not describe the discovery of penicillin, or if you are writing about a new smartphone app, you will not be mentioning a printing machine.
  • The information that you use should be reliable: well, there are so many publications about incredible inventions that have never been made.
  • The source should be reliable, and if you can identify the author and even get in touch with him, it is an advantage.
  • The source should provide truthful information, but we hope that you don’t trust everybody who wants to create a sensation from nothing.
  • The provided information should be as complete as possible.
  • As well, the purpose that covers the main reason the information exists. It should be identifiable, otherwise, why then does this information exist?


There are too many sources on the web. There is too much information published. If you don’t want to spread rumors and unconfirmed information, you should know how to check the info for reliability. But you should be even more attentive if you are writing a scientific paper.

In some cases, your single mistake might cost people lives. That’s why the more strictly you select the sources, the higher quality paper you will write. And, hence, the higher score it will get or the better reputation you will gain.