Evaluating Books Finding books is half the battle. You also need to evaluate them to determine if they are reliable and if they are appropriate for your research project.
Factors for Evaluating Sources In your textbook, George discusses some criteria for evaluating sources on pp. 133-36 The following slides will give you some things to consider when using her criteria to evaluate books
Date of Source Think about your topic in relation to the date a book or information in a book was published. If you are doing research on the latest cancer treatments, you don’t want a book from the 1954. If you are writing about the history of cancer treatments, a book from 1954 might be helpful Remember that primary sources are closest to an event, so they may not be recent but are usually relevant
Author’s Credentials What makes the author an expert? Consider experience as well as degrees and other credentials Has the author written anything else? Do other researchers cite this author?
Sponsor’s Intent or Reputation Who is the publisher? University press - Reputable and want to maintain that reputation, so pretty reliable but still must be viewed critically Commercial publisher – Books may be published for larger audiences and the purpose may be to make a profit Other
Leads, Research & References What sources did the author use to write the book? If the book is based on original research, what research methods did the author use?
Citing Books in MLA Style
MLA Citation for Books author’s last name, author’s first name. Title of Book. City where book was published: Publisher, year of publication. Medium of Publication. Example: Fromm, Erich. On Being Human. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, Inc., 1994. Print.