Compare and contrast the information you find with several authors and and array of sources such as books, Emory dissertations, journal articles, and studies.
Comparing and contrasting the information will help you in identifying any bias and enhance the validity and reliability of your research.
What are the author's qualifications and affiliation (i.e., where does the author work)?
What is the date of the publication? Is the information out-of-date for your topic?
Who's published it?
Is it a university press -- in which case the material is more likely to be scholarly -- or a well-known publisher?
Is the information valid and well-researched?
That is, are the author's ideas supported with research documented by footnotes, a bibliography, and/or a works cited page?
The "Five Criteria," used for evaluating WWW sites, can be used when evaluating information from any source (magazine articles, books, newspaper articles, etc.)
When you are writing a research paper and need help thinking through your topic or organizing your paper's content, Emory Writing Center provides thoughtful one-on-one attention and feedback at any stage of the writing process.
Meetings with tutors are available by appointment.