It's important to evaluate and filter your sources so that you get exactly the information you need to complete goal and communicate your intentions to your audience.
There are different ways to evaluate sources: evaluating them for quality research, determining whether they are scholarly, peer-reviewed sources or whether they are from popular press, or evaluating whether or not they will be a good fit for your project or assignment. There are lots of different methods for
For each source you encounter, consider the questions below:
What are the author's credentials and/or experience? Are they qualified to write about your topic?
Is the author biased a certain way? Are they a member of a strongly-leaning group or organization?
What year was the article or source published? Is it still relevant today? Does it provide the most up-to-date information if that is what is needed?
How reliable is the source? Is it from a reputable author or publisher? Do you recognize the author's name; if not, are there credentials (like their job title or workplace) that tell you about the author's expertise?
How useful is the source in helping you address your topic or accomplish your goal?
For more resources and methods for evaluating sources...
If you want to learn more or want to look into a few different methods for evaluating sources (the SIFT method and CRAAP test), head to the Evaluating Sources for Credibility page of our Research Process guide.