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Discovery Seminar - Shomade - Fall 2020

Students in Dr. Shomade's Africa: Colonial Legacy and Rule of Law course should check here for research help and recommended resources.
  Evaluating Sources

Some of the questions you should ask when evaluating sources of information are:

  • Audience? Who will be reading this source?
  • Author? Who wrote this source?
  • Credentials? What are the credentials of the author? Can you tell if they are an expert on the subject? 
  • Are there sources or links to other information about the topic? Yes (If so, what kind?) or No.
  • Purpose? What is the purpose of this source?
  • Language? How easy or difficult to read or understand will most people find this source?
  • Publisher? Who published this source?
  • Source of information reliable? Would you trust this source? 
  • Scholarly/Popular? Is this source scholarly or popular?
  • Peer Review? Is this source peer-reviewed? How can you tell?

  News Literacy

When doing research in political science, you may read news articles to get background or up-to-date information on a topic. How can you tell if coverage of an event is comprehensive and reliable? Mike Caulfield, head of the Digital Polarization Initiative of the American Democracy Project, recommends applying the Four Moves or SIFT. These were designed to evaluate news stories and other posts.

Stop, Investigate the Source, Find Better Coverage, Take Claims, Quotes, and Media to the Source

The key thing to remember is that it's always a good idea to do some "external" searching after you read information of any kind - this means searching around for other sources that corroborate what you're reading, or provide more context.

How do you determine if the report you're reading is a reliable account?


Which one of these sites do you feel is a more reliable source for information on children's health? Why?

                  American Academy of Pediatrics                                                    American College of Pediatricians

American Academy of PediatricsAmerican College of Pediatricians