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Journalism: Evaluating Sources

This guide is designed to assist students locate resources in order to conduct research for journalistic articles

PAR Test





Are your sources on PAR with your assignment?

Scholarly vs. Popular Periodical?


Click below to link to 3-minute tutorial created by Vanderbilt University Library

Man holding 2 papers: Paper 1: Goal: Find 5 Sources. Paper 2: Sources Must be Scholarly

Peabody Library provides a brief overview on what makes a scholarly periodical different from a popular periodical. Created by Eli Moody, 2007.

Research 101: Format Matters (University of Washington)

This 3.41 minute video from the University of Washington explains the process by which information is published.

The CRAP Test

Is the copyright or publication date current?
If the material is dated, justification should be included for using outdated material.
Is the material to be used for background or historical purposes?

How is this document useful to your research?
How does it directly relate to the research that you are investigating?

Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?  What are the credentials of the author/publisher/source/sponsor?  What is the author’s occupation, position, titles, education, experience, etc.?  Is the author/publisher/
source/sponsor qualified (or not) to write on this subject? 
Does the source provide accurate information (cite its sources) and is it trustworthy?


What is the purpose for writing this document or doing this research? Does the author/publisher/source/sponsor have a bias or make assumptions within the source? Does the author have a hidden agenda?  Is the source trying to sell you something, or is it trying to persuade you to think a certain way? Is it fact or opinion?

Determining the PURPOSE of a Source

Determining the Purpose of a Source Sarah Moorehouse

Evaluating Sources for Credibility (NCSU Libraries) 3.14 min

Point of View: Detecting Bias

Magazines, newspapers, broadcasters and organizations may have a reputation for being politically left or right. The mental model is a horizontal line with starting on the left with progressive, liberal, moderate or centerist, continuing right with conservative, ultra-conservative sources. They may be associated with a particular political party, religious movement, denomination, or be secular, or they may have a one-issue cause (environmentalists). Some media outlets readily acknowledge a bias while others have unacknowledged bias and still others strive to present a variety of viewpoints. Knowing the source’s reputation alerts the reader to bias in the information it provides. Attitude should not be confused with factual accuracy. 

Credit is given to Lakeland Community College Library for the creation of this document. 

Peer Review in 3 Minutes (North Carolina State University)

Anatomy of Primary Research Article

What is Lateral Reading? (3.33 minute video)

Subject Guide

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Paula Moskowitz
Manhatttanville College Library
2900 Purchase Street
Purchase, NY 10577

Representing Evaluation in Your Writing

ABC's of Evaluating Information Sources (websites, journal articles, books, etc.) University of Texas at Dallas