Evaluating Information when Researching Identifying Authority and Objectivity By: Melissa Supak
Searching for Information
Types of sources:
All are found in the library but require careful evaluation.
Use the 5 W’s and a How? Who What When Where Why How How to Evaluate your Sources
Who? Who wrote the material (author) and do they have credentials that make their writing usable? Is there a biography page of the author or can I find information about them somewhere else? Did the author write any other works that were biased?
What? What is to carefully evaluate what the authors intended purpose is for. What does the author say is the purpose of the material? (inform, present opinions, to report research, or to sell a product) What makes the material easy to use? Is the tone in the writing emotional or objective?
When is to identify whether or not the information is current. When was it published? Has the information been updated recently? When?
Where is to find out how the author found their information and who sponsored them. Where does the information come from? Where was the information retrieved from? (one location only or from different areas) Where was it published? (is the publisher reputable (honest)?) Where?
Why? Why should I use this information? Why is this resource better than another? Why is the information useful for my purpose? Why is to evaluate why you would use the source.
An internet address is called a URL or Universal Resource Locator. At the end of the URL there are extensions that can clue you into the validity of the internet source. How to Identify URL Extensions
Practice! We will practice our 5 W’s and a How research as a class and then you are on your own.
Who wrote the book? Author found on the cover or title page. What is the purpose in writing? Said on the first few pages of the book When was is published? Look at the back of the title page. Where did they get their information? Find out what they used in the reference section. Why should I use it? Does it fit under your topic? Books are found in the OPAC provided by the library. https://library.killeenisd.org/cataloging/servlet/presentadvancedsearchredirectorform.do?l2m=Library%20Search&tm=TopLevelCatalog&l2m=Library+Search Book
Who is the author? Author found at the top, bottom or a section of the page. What is the purpose in writing? Should be stated on homepage When was is published? Shown at the bottom of the page Where did they get their information? About us section Why should I use it? Does it fit under your topic? The internet is found in the library, on your phone or at home. Choose your sources wisely. http://descy.50megs.com/descy/webcred/webcred/dhmo.html Internet
Online Database Online databases do not really need to be evaluated with the 5 W’s and a How. The materials that are placed on a database have been validated by being chosen for their site.
Practice with a partner to evaluate your resources.
Sources: Bradley, P. (2010, 11 4). Fake Websites and Spoof Websites. Retrieved March 16, 2011, from Phil Bradley's Website: http://www.philb.com/fakesites.htm Butler, R. (n.d.). Evaluating your source. Retrieved March 18, 2011, from Oklahoma City Community College: http://www.occc.edu/libraryresearch/Evaluating.html Schrock, K. (2011). Kathy Shrock's Guide for Educators. Retrieved March 17, 2011, from Discovery Education: http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schrockguide/webquest/webquest.html Vidmar, D. (2008). How to Search the Internet. Retrieved March 17, 2011, from Lenn and Dixie Hannon Library: http://hanlib.sou.edu/searchtools/howto.html