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ENVI 193 TW - Intro to Transboundary Water Sharing (Kamal-Heikman, Fall 2023): Evaluating Sources

Evaluating Sources

In academic writing, you need to think critically about your sources. Consider the credibility and reliability and trustworthiness of your sources. While you read, ask yourself: 

WHO

Who wrote this?  Do the author's credentials, education, past writings or experience lend credibility to the source? Does the author cite credible, authoritative sources?

WHO

Who is the intended reader?  Is this source written for a popular audience? A scholarly audience? A consumer?  A child?

WHAT

What is the purpose of this source? Does it aim to inform, persuade, sell, or entertain? Is the information useful to you?  Is this source extensive or marginal in its coverage of your topic?

WHEN

When was this source written?  Does the date of creation affect the usefulness of this source? Is currency important to your topic?

WHERE

Where does this source appear? In an academic journal? In a popular magazine? In an online blog? Does where it appears affect your sense of its value?

WHY

Why was the source created? Does it have a specific bias?  Is the author trying to persuade you to accept a particular point of view? How might you use a biased source in your own academic writing?

Evaluating Sources

Not sure if the article, book, or other source you found will work for your assignment? Use the video below to apply the ACT UP method to evaluate the source. 

ACT UP Source Evaluation from UCSB Library on Vimeo.


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