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English 1010 USU Concurrent Enrollment: Evaluate Info

[ENGL|1010|Jayne Mecham/Wayne McConkie/Kent Templeton/Lonnie Kay/Jennifer Clyde/Mark Wirthlin/Kimberly Hales/Marty Reeder/Samantha Andrus-Henry/Terry Linares/Heather Staten/Kienan Hamm/Tessa Kunz/Darren Perkes/Jason Olsen/Bert Sainsbury/Amber Bowden]

Should I trust this website?


The following questions and clues can help determine whether or not to trust a website, and whether or not you can consider it an authoritative and credible source:

Where is the website coming from or who is the author? Look for clues like…

  • an “About” or “More about the Author” link
  • the domain name (.edu, .com, .mil, .gov, .org)

Does the website present a certain bias or specific opinion? Look for clues like…

  • links or references to other websites or sources that might be associated with specific biases
  • the language being used

Can you tell when it was published? Look for clues like…

  • phrases that include the words “updated” or “published”
  • specific dates

Who is the target audience for the website? Look for clues like…

  • references to specific organizations or groups of people
  • advertisements that might be targeting specific groups

Finding Scholary Sources

When you are searching the library databases, you will find both articles that are scholarly and articles that are not.  The sources in library databases are credible, but your instructor may require that you choose the most credible academic sources, those that are scholarly. The easiest way to ensure your sources are scholarly is to select the "Peer Reviewed" box.

Here is more information on evaluating articles, including more information on peer review:  Evaluating Articles.  

Popular vs. Scholarly

The following table describes popular and scholarly articles and those in between. It might be more helpful to think of resources as a spectrum rather than two diametrically opposed categories into which all sources must fit.  Choose articles that are appropriate for your subject and the kind of research you are doing.  Sometimes this means you will use popular articles, sometimes scholarly, and sometimes a mix.  Check with your teacher if you are not sure if something is appropriate for your assignment.

Popular vs. Scholarly chart:

thumbnail image of scholarly vs popular chart