New Resources for Rhetoric & Media Studies
How to Evaluate Resources (Print & Electronic)
Italics indicates special criteria for Internet resources
- Who is the intended audience?
- Is scope or purpose specifically stated? Do the contents match the stated scope?
- Is the point of view stated? Is there a particular agenda that is being pushed?
- Does it have an established reputation? If so, consider what kind of reputation it represents?
- What is the host's motivation for providing the information on the Web?
(Advertising for profit, part of agency's mission, educational purposes, reporting original research, publicizing a particular agenda)
- What information can be gained about the site domain code of the host address?
- Is the text well written? Is it written in the language of the discipline or for a general audience?
- Does the source have features, such as charts, illustrations, or a bibliography, that will be helpful?
- Is the information needed to cite the material easily found?
- Is there a lot of information available or is the information it provides limited?
- Are links to other Web resources labeled clearly?
- Is objectivity a factor?
- Who is the author?
- Does the author provide credentials demonstrating expertise or knowledge of the subject?
- Is the publisher reputable?
- Does the resource contain grammatical, spelling or typographical errors?
- Is there any contact information provided?
- Are facts, such as statistics, accurate, current, and verifiable? Are sources of information cited?
- What sources or methods did the author use to gather the information?
- Is the method of obtaining data accurate and dependable?
- Is it refereed/peer-reviewed or did just a staff editor review it? Peer-review means a scholar or researcher in
the related field has reviewed it before publication.
- How frequently is the resource updated?
- Are the links to other resources current? And is the page finished or still under construction?
- Does the author list where they get their information from
(e.g. footnotes, bibliography, or reference list)?
- Are there many sources listed?
- Are the author's sources reliable?
- Can you follow their listed sources to obtain the original information sources?