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COM 105 Interpersonal Communication: Fake News

Evaluation Checklist

Questions to Ask Yourself when Evaluating an Article

  • Is this written for a scholarly or technical audience?
  • Is the article appropriate for your needs?
  • Does the article explore one issue in detail?
  • Is the article free of errors?
  • Does it provide documentation? (Look for Footnotes, citations, or a bibliography)
  • Are the citations scholarly sources? (From books or journals rather than websites)
  • Can you determine any bias in the article?
  • Does the article have any funding disclosure statements? (Does this raise any issues of objectivity)
  • Is the author identified?
  • Is the author an expert in the field?
  • Are the authors credentials noted?
  • Is the publisher a university press, or other scholarly publisher?
  • Is the article written recently? 
  • Is it important to have recent information on the topic?
  • Does the article contain information  that supports your research?
  • Does the article have references that can point you to additional useful materials?

The answers to these questions will help quide your evaluation.

Check the authority of the article.  Articles with funding disclosure statements can be a red flag that the article may represent the objectives of the funder.  If an article is funded by an organization, foundation or group look into the funding organization.

Consider what is important to your specific needs. An article may not need to be recent for certain topics.  If you are doing a paper on cancer treatment currency is important, but for a paper on the Civil War, currency is not as important.



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