Read the content in the "Finding Authoritative Sources on the Internet" box, then watch the Critically Evaluating Websites video. The information on this page is critical for helping you learn how to find credible online sources, so strive to make sure you have a firm understanding of the content before you move on. Remember, if you have any questions about how to evaluate online sources, you can email me or contact any one of the ARC librarians.
After watching the video, for practice, use what you learned about evaluating sources to complete the Evaluation Exercise on "gun control".
To get a sense of how you might use the various sources you'll encounter during the research process, read about the B.E.A.M method and watch the corresponding video.
If you have any questions about this part of the research process, you can:
In the video below, you'll learn tips that will help you find credible internet sources appropriate for an academic assignment.
Before you watch the video, read the following for an brief introduction to some of the essential keywords and concepts that will be introduced:
Near the end of the video, you'll hear the narrator say, "there's not single indicator of the quality or credibility of a website", and that is definitely true. In order to find credible sources, it's imperative that you use your critical thinking skills and the terms above to evaluate the sources you discover before using them in your research.
Remember, if you have any questions about this process or the information in this video, please contact me.
Source: Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Libraries
These three websites were found with the same Google search: "gun control". Review each one and then answer the following question:
Which of the websites below would you MOST likely consider using as an academic resource?
If you're wondering what kind of sources you should use to conduct your research, the B.E.A.M might help clarify how best to use and incorporate the different types of sources you will discover in your research.
Background - these are sources that provide an overview and the core facts about your topic. Encyclopedias are a great resource for supplying this kind of information.
Exhibit - exhibit sources provide evidence or are examples of what is being analyzed. Interviews, a poem or novel, scholarly articles, etc. are examples of sources that could be used in this way.
Argument - these types of sources include information from other authors that you agree or disagree with. These sources essentially help explain why you agree or disagree with the idea(s) those authors have presented.
Method - method sources can be used as models to analyze the issue you're interested in. For example, you might use the methods, definitions, or conclusions used on a national study about employer's access to employee's password-protected social media accounts to argue in favor of the hiring methods you practice as a small business owner.