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McNair Scholar Resources

Source Evaluation Tips

When evaluating information there are a few items you want to look for and consider. Some areas of an article to look at right away include:

  1. Intended audience (Who would be likely to read this and why? What is the purpose of the article or periodical?)
    • Reading level (Does the writing use simple language or jargon? How difficult is it to read?)
  2. Authors (Can you find the expertise or credentials of the authors?)
  3. Reliability/accuracy (What evidence of either can you identify?)
  4. Footnotes or citations (Are the sources cited at the end of the article?)

For more tips on evaluating sources, check out our guide on using the CCOW Method (Credentials, Claims, Objectives, and Worldview).

Evaluating Sources Using the SEE Method

Primary vs. Secondary Sources