Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

COMM 201 - Interpersonal Communication, Webb: Evaluating Sources

Information and resources to assist student with 201 Communications coursework

Methods of Evaluation

Website Evaluation: PATS

Guidelines for evaluating websites:

Purpose

  • Why was this source created? 
  • What audience was it created for?
  • Is it scholarly or popular? Does this matter?

Authority

  • Who is the author? A person? A corporation?
  • What are the author's qualifications for writing on this subject?

Timeliness

  •  Is there a date?
  •  When was the content last updated?

Scope

  • Does it give too much or too little information?
  • How specific is the information provided?

Characteristics of a Scholarly Article

--Have a serious appearance.  The words "Journal," "Transactions," "Proceedings," or "Quarterly," may appear in the title.

--Written for professors, students or researchers. 

--Authors are experts in their field

--Uses an academic writing style.

--Articles are reviewed by a board of experts or "peer reviewed."

--Follows a format: abstract, literature review, methodology, results, and a conclusion.

--Always includes references and citations

--May include tables, graphs or illustrations to support research.

--Published by professional organization, university or commercial enterprise

--Little or no advertising.

 

Partially adapted from  Characteristics of Scholarly Journals, Trade Journals and Popular Magazines http://library.albany.edu/usered/dr/char.html

Tips for Evaluating Sources

Tips for Evaluating Resources

--Determine what type of source i.e.: book, journal, website

--Remember .gov sources are unbiased unless they are presenting a political perspective or ideology (congress.gov or whitehouse.gov)

--Sites which are for commercial or corporate entities should be regarded with suspicion

--Watch for fake news or satire sites (if you are not familiar with a website look for the "About" page or FAQs)\

--Determine who is sponsoring or creating the site. If authorship cannot be determined move on to another source.