As per the Google definition of Evaluating sources : when doing research can be a complex task. Your papers credibility depends upon the reliability of the information you use to support your points. There are times when, along with authoritative and scholarly sources, other information, such as interviews and personal observations are valid sources.
The ATL skills you are using:
R – is for Relevancy. Make sure the information you are tracking is relevant to your project title. Stay on task and avoid being distracted by information that is not relevant. Before undergoing any searches construct a plan of what it is you need to find out and how you are going to do it.
A – is for Appropriateness. Is the information you are tracking appropriate? Do you understand the language or do you even enjoy the search activity you are carrying out? Do not be shy about admitting you do no not understand the language of a particular resource (website, book, database or even a primary source such as an interviewee). The source may be written in a language not appropriate for your age group or your current academic ability. The person you are interviewing may be using words you don’t understand.
There are mechanisms to help you understand information, such as a dictionary or a thesaurus. Do not be put off at the first attempt, but do not persevere with search activities that confuse you or make you feel uncomfortable. Above all, do not be afraid to ask for help. Your teachers cannot do the work for you but they can help you to help yourself.
D – is for Detail. How much detail do you wish to go into? This will impact on the amount and kind of information you need. Is the information you are tracking detailed enough or does it go into too much detail?
C –is for Currency. Currency of information means how up to date it is. What your project is about will influence your decision on how current the information you use needs to be. If your project is a scientific project, then up to date information will be the order of the day but if you are writing a historic project then older resources could provide you with more suitable material. Please do not be deceived by technology. Simply because something is on the Internet, does not mean it is more current than information that is published in a book. Regardless of your information source, always check its currency. When was a book published? When was a website last updated? How frequently does a journal come out? Is a database updated regularly?
A – is for Authority. This translates as accuracy and credibility. Those assessing your work will need to see that you have taken the time to check that your information sources are reliable. If your information sources prove to be unreliable and unconvincing your project will lose its credibility and affect your overall grade. Remember to check the credentials of the individual author or organisation responsible for the information.
How to “Read” a website
B is for Bias. Why has the author written the article or book? Is it to inform, entertain, to persuade or even to sell? Opinionated writing is not always wrong, but if the reader is informed of why an author holds a particular opinion, the reader is able to make better judgments about the author’s writing. Important things to look out for are: