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QUEST Research Model: Step 3: Evaluate


EVALUATE: Is This What I Need?

Not only do you want to evaluate the quality of your sources for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose, you also want to ask yourself - are they helpful to your research task?

Reflect on your process so far by asking yourself the following questions:

What have I learned so far?

What could I argue with this information or what will be my claim?

What additional information do I need to make a focused argument?

Should I abandon some of these sources and/or find new ones?

What are some new concepts, keywords, or subject terms I'll use to find additional information?

What databases and other sources have I tried so far? What additional sources should I try (check back with Step 2)?

Evaluating Sources: The C.R.A.A.P. Test

Evaluating Sources

How Reliable is My Website?

C.R.A.P. Test in Action: Specific Examples

Reading Objectives

Evaluating your sources well requires reading with a critical lens. Ask yourself questions such as these:

Am I reading facts that are presented to inform?  Or am I reading an argument designed to persuade?

If an argument, what is the author's claim and what evidence/data is used to support the claim? What analysis/reasoning/warrant is used to convince readers, either through logic or emotion? 

How has the author's background influenced his/her perspective?

What other sources corroborate this information? What other perspectives need to be included?