Information Literacy Tools: Evaluating and Using Sources

Evaluating Sources

It is important to determine the credibility and validity of anything you read, whether it's an Instagram post or a medical journal article.

Important Questions

Scholarship and academic publishing is a form of conversation and is contextual, ask your self questions like:

- What is the PURPOSE of this article?

- Who is the intended audience of this article?

- Is this article is a response to previous research?

- Who wrote this article?

- - Are they getting paid?

- - Is this their opinion?

- - Has this been peer-reviewed or checked for credibility? 

- Is this article and the publication current and reliable? 



What is peer-reviewed?

When an article has been peer-reviewed, the information has been vetted and validated by the peers of the author. This helps ensure that information is valid. 

What makes something scholarly?

Scholarly simply refers to information that involves or is related to higher education, academic study, and research. 

Lateral Reading

Lateral reading is the act of verifying what you are reading by conducting simultaneous research on things like the author and publication. 

You are evaluating the resources you are finding and deepening your knowledge about your topic, and who is invested in your topic. 


It is important to keep track of your sources, record them, and cite them for both you and your readers. Citations help your readers verify what you are saying, but it also helps prevent you, the writer, from plagiarizing. 

Plagiarizing is the act of using someone else's ideas, words, data, or more as your own. 

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