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Evaluating Sources: An Interactive Guide: Worksheet

Use library databases, catalogs, and other tools to help you critically evaluate an article or book and place it in the context of an academic discipline.

Evaluating Sources Worksheet

You may want to have a worksheet on which to make notes as you work through the Evaluating Sources guide. This page is designed to be printed out for this purpose, or just copy and paste the text below into a document that you can make notes on.

Evaluating Sources Worksheet


I. Who is the author of the book or article?

1. How often is this person writing? Any co-authors?



2. About what subject or subjects?



3. What do you know about the sources publishing this writer's work?



II. How does the author's argument compare with the discussion of the subject over time?

1. Summarize the author's argument.



2.a. What other types of discussions or arguments are being made during the same time period as this author?



2.b. At five year intervals before and after the publication date of this author's work?



3. Briefly characterize the place of the author's argument in relation to the other arguments or discussions you found.



III. How good is the author's argument?

1. Summarize the author's argument.



2. What kinds of evidence does the author use?



3. Does the evidence or methodology "prove" the author's argument? What are the weaknesses of the argument?



4. Is the use of evidence and methodology a typical or usual approach within the discipline?



5. Pose a specific question about this article that needs answering.