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POLS 1000: American & Wyoming Government: Evaluating Sources

Source Evaluation Overview

What does it mean to evaluate a source?
  • To evaluate a source means to look for details within the publication about its purpose, author, and think about how you can use the source in your own research.
Why would I want to evaluate my source?
  • You want to evaluate sources to understand your own bias and think about how to avoid writing a biased research assignment. Evaluating a source you find through the library databases or Google will help you to think critically about how the information ended up in front of you.

IF I APPLY: A Tool for Evaluating Sources

IF I APPLY steps

Personal Steps:

Identify emotions attached to topic.

Find reference sources and evaluate bias for a proper view of the topic


Intellectual courage to seek authoritative voices on topics that may be outside of thesis.

Source steps:

Authority established. Does the author have education and experience in that field?

Purpose/point of view of source. Does the author have an agenda beyond education or information?

Publisher. Does the publisher have an agenda?

List of sources (bibliography). Is the evidence sound?

Year of publication. Does the year of publication affect the information?

IF I APPLY Tutorial