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How do I Write a Literature Review?: Step #3: Evaluating Content

So, you have to write a literature review. Well, this is the best place to start!

What should I look for when evaluating my sources?

  • Generally, there are a number of elements to consider when evaluating the quality and scholarliness of a source. During your literature review, you want to make sure you only include credible, scholarly sources. Use the following guidelines to help you in your evaluation.
  • Also listed are a few websites that offer criteria on how to evaluate your sources.
Authority
  • What are the author's credentials?
  • Can you identify their institutional affiliations?
  • What is the author's expertise on the subject?
Currency
  • When was the source published?
  • Is it outdated?
  • Does it meet the time needs for your topic?
Documentation
  • Does the author cite credible, authoritative sources?
  • Is there evidence of scholarly research?
  • Do they properly cite their sources?
Intended Audience
  • Who is the intended audience? Scholars? Researchers? General audience?
Objective / Purpose
  • What is the author's goal in writing it? To entertain? To inform? To influence?
  • How objective is the source?
Relevancy
  • Is it relevant to your topic?
  • Does it provide any new information about your topic?

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