Before you begin to read or take notes, evaluate your sources. Choosing quality sources of information is not only a vital life skill, it also essential for research at both the high school and post-secondary levels. Of the Top Ten Research Skills for First Year University Students, three skills relate to source evaluation.
- Begin by looking for information in the library’s Digital Resource Hub; the publications in these sources are well-known and considered to be reliable sources of information.
- Understand the differences between academic/scholarly sources and non-scholarly/popular sources, then determine which source types best suits your research topic and purpose.
- Understand the differences between primary sources and secondary sources, then determine which source types best suit your research topic and purpose.
- Evaluate all sources you find — especially those you find on the general internet — in relation to the C.R.A.A.P. test — a well-known method for distinguishing reliable from unreliable sources.