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VOGEL LIBRARY

COM 112 - Oral Communication: Evaluating
Sources

WHAT is it - WHY should you believe it - WHY is it right for you now

PATS: Acronym for Evaluation indicators
Purpose Is the intent to INFORM or PERSUADE?
Authority Scholar? Journalist? Experienced in the topic? Whatever it is, what does it mean in the context of history? Of a country? Of a time period?
Timeliness Depends on your topic whether currency is important
Scope Do you want something that covers the topic broadly, specifically, or in-depth? (e.g., respectively, encyclopedias, news or scholarly articles, and books)

Where to Find the Credibility Information for Sources

 Journals/Magazines/Newspapers

  • Database = on article page or link to a bio or description
  • Website = search with quotes like "New York Times" and look for  "About" or "Publishing Standards" or "Qualifications"
  • Wikipedia page = beware of any suspiciously positive or negative information

 

  Books

  • Book Itself = Front/back flap or pages
  • Website = of Author or Publisher
  • Wikipedia = beware suspicious negative or positive spin

 

  Websites

  • "About" page = OR "Credentials," "Who We Are, "Mission, "Purpose"
  • Impossible to find = what are they hiding? Why? Why would you use it, then?
  • Click as many times into the information as you need to truly understand who is responsible for the information--sometimes it may be 5 consecutive clicks in or more

 

  Authors

  • Web search = quotes around full name, e.g. "Junot Diaz." Interviews can work. Add inurl:edu if scholarly.
  • Impossible to find = Are they dead? Are they hiding?