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HU 321 Taylor




Evaluating Criteria

Evaluate Your Search Results

  • Read the abstract to learn overview of the article.
  • Look at the keywords.  Do they match your search?
    • Even if they don't match, is the article still relevant?
    • If the article is relevant, add new keywords to search.
  • Can you understand the vocabulary?
  • When was it published?  Do you need a recent article?
  • Does the article contain references?
  • Is it original research?
    • Does it use primary or secondary sources?
    • Does it include charts, graphs, or other data?
  • How does this article relate to your topic?
    • How is it similar?
      • Does it focus on the same questions you have?
    • How is it different?
      • Does it present a different argument than what you want?
      • How could that be used in your project?
    • Is this article useful to your project?
      • Does it relate to what you are talking about?
      • Can it fit into your project?
    • If it is not useful to your topic, why isn't it useful?

Determining Authenticity by Author

Look for the author or sponsoring entity (person, group or organization). Is the author or sponsoring entity clearly identified? Are credentials listed which validate the author’s expertise?

Look for the top-level domain (the last part of the URL) for a hint about who is publishing the website. The domain creates distinctions between types of websites. They do not, however, assure reliability and credibility.

Examples of Internet top-level domains:

  • = government, U.S. Federal Government agency
  • = educational, such as colleges and universities
  • = commercial company, usually for-profit
  • = organizations, often non-profit 
  • = military
  • ~  =(tilde) a personal site

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