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English Research Guide  

This guide will help you with research in the field of English literature.
Last Updated: Jun 9, 2014 URL: http://libguides.adams.edu/english Print Guide RSS Updates

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Critically Evaluate Your Sources

Content and Purpose

  • What is the source of information about?
  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
  • Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?

Authority

  • Who is the author/publisher/sponsor of the information/website?
  • What organizations is the author and/or sponsor affiliated with?
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?

Accuracy

  • Where does the information come from? Is it supported by evidence?
  • Can the information be verified?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?

Relevance

  • Who is the intended audience?
  • How useful is this source in comparison to other sources available?
  • Would this be a strong source to use in a research paper?

Currency

  • When was the content published? Updated?
  • Does the website have working links?
  • Does it matter if the information on the subject is current or not?

Links for Library Instruction Session

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    The Congressional Quarterly Researcher provides in-depth reports on controversial subjects such as gun control, health care, and obesity. The reports include a Pro/Con view, chronology of events, current situation awareness, and lists further resources. An excellent resource for a position paper.
  • Academic Search Complete
    A comprehensive resource covering all academic disciplines, with full text provided for over 4,600 journals. Good for researching any academic topic.
 

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Best General Bets for all Paper Topics

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