Often we seek information that confirms our own thoughts and feelings towards a topic. This is NOT RESEARCH. Research and learning comes from finding sources that speak to the truth of a topic, no matter how much it hurts
Only by keeping personal biases in check can you begin to vet information for credibility.
These steps will help you find sources that are credible and reliable in your research process.
Identify emotions attached to the topic.
Find unbiased reference sources that will provide an overview of the topic.
Intellectual courage is needed to seek authoritative voices on the topic.
Authority established. Does the author have the education or expertise?
Purpose/Point of view. Does the author have an agenda beyond education or information?
Publisher? Does the publisher have an agenda?
List of sources. Is the evidence reliable, sensible, and accessible?
Year of publication. Does the date of publication affect the information?
IF I APPLY is primarily concerned with the quality and credibility of resources, but we must also consider the relevance of sources to our argument and our assignment. Consider the following questions when deciding whether or not to use information from a resource in your essay.