Source credibility can impact your grade. Here are questions to guide your evaluation process:

  • Is the author well known and frequently published?
  • Are there any reviews available for the author's work?
  • How easy is it to find contact information for the author?
  • Is the publisher well known and well respected in the industry? Do they have a website?
  • How selective is the publisher in determining what they publish?
  • Are they also the main retailer for what they publish?
  • Does their other content seem legitimate and credible?
  • When was the source originally published? When was it last updated?
  • Are you citing the latest version? If not, how does that affect your argument?
  • Does the argument the author makes appear anywhere else? Is it backed up with data or other sources?
  • Where does the information presented come from?
  • Are there grammatical or spelling errors? Any dead links?
  • What is the tone of voice? Does it appeal more to an academic reader, or is it more casual?
  • Would someone not familiar with the subject be able to understand the source's topic after reading it?
  • What is the intended audience of the source? Is it similar or different from your intended audience?
  • If the source is a website, does the site have ads? Do they affect the content?
  • What is the purpose of the source? Is it to persuade or argue? To entertain or inform?
  • What is the author's tone of voice? Do they seem to only present one side of the argument? How do they address the counter argument, if at all?
  • Does the author give credit to sources where they received information and conducted research?
  • Do the sources they used seem legitimate?
  • What sources refer to the one you are using? Do those seem legitimate?
  • Is this the original source? Has it been reproduced?
  • If it was reproduced, when was that done? Who reproduced it? To what end?
  • If it was reproduced, does it have copyright information or information on the original source?
  • How much information can be learned from the source on a particular topic?
  • Does it talk about a broad topic, or a specific element of a topic?
  • Are there larger, more popular sources on the topic than this one?
  • After reading through the various questions above, does this source seem credible?