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FYS: Contemporary Writers (Furuness): Home

Why Does Evaluation Matter?

The Internet is not filtered. Anyone can post what they want online, no matter if it is false, biased, or ridiculous.

Anybody can create a website - and it's getting easier and easier to do so.

You should evaluate ALL information, in any format. 

The websites below are dramatic examples that show why evaluation is so critical:

MLA Style

Button linking to MLA Citation Guide

Additional Resources

GENERAL RESOURCE:

FORMATTING / STYLE:

IN-TEXT CITATIONS:

WORKS CITED:

Search the Library

Search EVERYTHING with WorldCAT

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Find Information


Looking for more?

Don't limit yourself to the databases listed above! Do you know what sort of subject area that your research falls under? Try finding a database through the Databases Grouped by Subject page. Pick a subject and you'll be taken to a page where the liaision librarian for that subject has compiled a list of appropriate databases for you to use. 


Looking for more journalism sources?

Visit our Journalism LibGuide for more information and check out the full list of our databases here!

Find books, articles, media, and more at Butler and beyond

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A book held by the Libraries will be listed in WorldCAT with the following information:

First, you'll want to note where it is. Is it in the Irwin Library? Or Science Library? Is it in a special collection or on reserve? If you're not sure what the location is or where it is, ask at the IC desk. After that, you'll need to look at the call number: this will tell you where exactly the book is in the library and on the shelf. The call number is like coordinates for finding a book on the shelves.

When You Have Already Identified a Good Source

Backwards Reference Searching

What it yields:  

It looks into the sources that your author referenced. This means the sources have already been vetted by your author for credibility, and you know that they are related to the topic at hand. However, it also means that the sources must have been published before your original source, so you will be retrieving older materials.

A vintage-style pocket watch

How to do it: 

  1. Look through the reference page of your source. 
  2. Identify sources that seem relevant or interesting. 
  3. Track down the full-text of these sources.

Tools to use:

Forward Reference Searching

What it yields:  

Lego homeage to the Back to the Future movie. DeLorean flying in the sky.

It looks into the newer sources that have cited your original source. It is a good indicator that the sources will be on related topics and of good quality.

How to do it: 

There are several tools to help you identify which newer sources list your original source on their reference page.

Do You Remember ... The Future? by JD Hancock. Used under CC BY 2.0

Tools to use:

The CRAAP Test

The CRAAP Test

Currency, Relevancy, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose

The CRAAP test lists criteria that can help you evaluate the quality and appropriateness of the information sources you encounter. 

Man carrying a sign that says "Judgement Day May 21, 2011"

When was the information published or posted?

Do you need historical or current information?

Has this information been revised or changed since it was first released?


BOTTOM LINE: Does this offer appropriately current or historical information?

Image: Bummer by Nick Harris1Used under CC BY-ND

Woman reading a book, looking confusedDoes the information help you accomplish the purpose of your work/paper? Does this easily relate to your topic?

Does this source meet all your information needs or assignment requirements?

Is this source at an appropriate level for your intended audience?

Have you looked at a variety of sources? Why is this source better than others?


BOTTOM LINE: Is this a source that adds value to your work? Why is it worth including?

Image: Confused by CollegeDegrees360Used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Man standing with several cameras hanging around his neck. Cannot see man's face.

Who is the author?  Who is the publisher?

  • What expertise do they have with this subject?
  • What is their educational background?
  • Where are they from? Where are they living now?
  • What political party do they belong to?
  • What organizations or causes do they support?
  • Are there any other biases you can ascertain?

BOTTOM LINE: Can you trust this author and publisher to know what they're talking about?

Image: [Man with Cameras] by i k o. Used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Is this information correct? Reliable?

Are sources listed? Cited within the text?

Dart board with several darts in the bulleye

  • Are these sources scholarly/academic?
  • When were these sources published?
  • Do these sources come from trustworthy authors/publishers?

If the source conducted its own original research:

  • What methods were used to collect the data/information?
  • What was the sample size or population?
  • Are there any weaknesses in the way that they gather or analyzed their data?
  • Do you feel that they provided adequate support for their conclusions?

BOTTOM LINE: Can you trust that this information is true?

Image: Darts by Richard_of_EnglandUsed under CC BY 2.0

World War Two poster that says "Millions of troops are on the move; is your trip necessary?"What is the purpose of this information source?

  • To entertain? Inform? Educate? Pursuade? Sell? 
  • Are advertisements included? Photographs?

Is the information fact, opinion, or propoganda?

Do the authors/publishers make their intentions clear?

Is there bias - political, cultural, religious, ideological, personal, etc?


BOTTOM LINE: Is this source objective and impartial, or is it influenced by bias or hidden agendas?

Image: "Is your trip necessary?" by Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious.Used under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Health Sciences Librarian

Brittany Heer's picture
Brittany Heer
Contact:
Heer Evaluation

PBHS 207E
317-940-8550

Contact Information

Information Commons's picture
Information Commons
Contact:
Call: 317-940-9227
Text: 317-758-3551
Or stop by Irwin Library: we are located at the Information Commons desk on the first floor and in the Center for Academic Technology offices on the third floor.
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In Class Activities

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Monday, November 2, 2020

CONTACT

Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937
CAT: 317-940-8575

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