EVALUATING AND MANAGING SOURCES
CONSULT Hacker 49
1. Consider the sources title or any key words or brief descriptions of the source. Based on this information, how might this source be relevant to your topic?
2. What date was it written? Is it current enough to be relevant? If your source is from the Web, address the questions under “CURRENCEY” on Hacker pg. 392.
3. How long is this source? If it is too short, it might not have any useful content. If it is too long, you might not have time to read it.
4. If it is not an entire book, where did this source originally appear?
-- If it appeared in a periodical, does the periodical seem scholarly enough? (For instance, Psychology Today will be more appropriate than Teen Beat.) What biases might this periodical have?
-- If your source is from the Web, consider that anyone can publish a web site and address the questions under “SPONSORSHIP” on Hacker pg. 392.
5. Who is the author of your source? If there is no obvious author, find another source. If there is an author, what are her credentials? If that is not obvious, find another source.
-- If your source is from the Web, address the questions under “AUTHORSHIP” on Hacker pg. 392.
6. Does the source seem scholarly and legitimate? Might it be too technical? Too elementary? If your source is from the Web, address the questions under “PURPOSE AND AUDIENCE” on Hacker pg. 392.
7. Based on your answers to the following 6 questions, do you still think this might be a potentially good source?
-If you answered “NO,” then find another source and begin again.
-If you answered “YES” then go to number 8.
8. What is the availability of this source?
8a. If it is a book or article in a periodical…
-Can it be located on PITTcat?
-If so, is the book or periodical available in Owen?
-Is it checked out?
-If it is checked out or not available at Owen, how can you get hold of it and how long will that take?
-If you can’t answer these questions, ask a reference librarian or me to assist you.
If the source is not available within the time frame of your needs, find another source and begin again.
If your source is readily available, then go to number 9.
9. Gather all the information necessary to construct a full and proper Works Cited page. Use Hacker pg. 396 and section 54b to complete this step.
Obviously the next step is to get hold of the source and read it. If it does seem useful, read it again, this time taking notes, making marginalia, etc., etc. . .