Your needs can help reduce the piles of information

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your needs can help reduce the piles of information and help you focus inon what is truly important to read and reference. When determiningrelevance consider the following:Does the item contain information relevant to your argument orthesis?Read the article’s introduction, thesis, and conclusion.Scan main headings and identify article keywords.For book resources, start with the index or table of contents—howwide a scope does the item have? Will you use part or all of thisresource?Does the information presented support or refute your ideas?If the information refutes your ideas, how will this change yourargument?Does the material provide you with current information?What is the material’s intended audience?AuthorityUnderstanding more about your information’s source helps you determinewhen, how, and where to use that information. Is your author an expert onthe subject? Do they have some personal stake in the argument they aremaking? What is the author or information producer’s background? Whendetermining the authority of your source, consider the following:What are the author’s credentials?What is the author’s level of education, experience, and/oroccupation?What qualifies the author to write about this topic?What affiliations does the author have? Could these affiliationsaffect their position?What organization or body published the information? Is itauthoritative? Does it have an explicit position or bias?AccuracyDetermining where information comes from, if the evidence supports the
information, and if the information has been reviewed or refereed can helpyou decide how and whether to use a source. When determining theaccuracy of a source, consider the following:Is the source well-documented? Does it include footnotes, citations,or a bibliography?Is information in the source presented as fact, opinion, orpropaganda? Are biases clear?Can you verify information from the references cited in the source?Is the information written clearly and free of typographical andgrammatical mistakes? Does the source look to be edited beforepublication? A clean, well-presented paper does not always indicateaccuracy, but usually at least means more eyes have been on theinformation.PurposeKnowing why the information was created is a key to evaluation.Understanding the reason or purpose of the information, if the informationhas clear intentions, or if the information is fact, opinion, or propagandawill help you decide how and why to use information:Is the author’s purpose to inform, sell, persuade, or entertain?Does the source have an obvious bias or prejudice?Is the article presented from multiple points of view?Does the author omit important facts or data that might disprovetheir argument?

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Term
Fall
Professor
Clark

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