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Lake Effect Research Challenge: Criteria for Evaluating

Challenge Worksheet

Please Note:  You must be logged into your SUNY Oswego LakerApps account to access and complete the worksheets.

Section 1 Worksheet

Section 2 Worksheet

Section 3 Worksheet

Section 4 Worksheet

Section 5 Worksheet

Criteria for Evaluating

Criteria for Evaluating

  1. Usefulness/relevance
    • Is it about my topic?
    • Can this teach me something new?
    • Will this make my presentation better?
  2. Timeliness/currency
    • When was the source published/posted?
    • Does this present the current understanding of your topic? (Information in some topic areas becomes outdated more quickly than others).
    • Is your topic historical, requiring older sources?
  3. Appropriateness/audience
    • Who is the source written for?
    • Who is your presentation geared for?
    • What types of sources does your professor want you to have? (Some disciplines such as History and Law rely heavily on primary sources.)
  4. Authority/credibility
    • Does it have a reference list/bibliography?
    • Who published it?
    • What are the author's credentials?
    • Is it scholarly/peer reviewed?
    • What is the bias? Does it promote a particular point of view?
    • Does the author show evidence of critical thinking?

Take this list of criteria and evaluate your sources. If you're doing this for a class, you'll need to complete each of the following sections on evaluating:

Books
Articles
Websites

Overview

A primary source provides a first-hand record or report of what was done, thought and felt at a particular time and place.  These provide the raw material for interpretation and analysis by historians.

We cannot always gain direct access to an immediate, eye-witness account, especially for events hundreds of years ago.  So usually we try to get as close as possible, realizing that we are relying on memories, editing, and sometimes even translating.

The first step in finding primary sources in many cases will be to take a look at some secondary sources and encyclopedic sources on your topic.  If those sources are written by historians they will include references to useful primary sources.

The materials below provide additional tips for locating primary sources:

Ask a Librarian