First Thing: you will need to compare and contrast SOURCES: if u are an english major you will know this. Im and Respiratory care major. notice that . One of the most important and interesting steps to take as you begin researching a subject is selecting the resources that will you build your thesis and support your assertions. Certain topics require you to pay special attention to how current your resource is—because they are time sensitive, because they have evolved so much over the years, or because new research comes out on the topic so frequently. When evaluating the currency of an article, consider the following: • When was the item written, and how frequently does the publication it is in come out? • Is there evidence of newly added or updated information in the item? • If the information is dated, is it still suitable for your topic? • How frequently does information change about your topic? Understanding what resources are most applicable to your subject and why they are applicable can you focus and refine your thesis. Many topics are broad and searching for information on them produces a wide range of resources. Narrowing your topic and focusing on resources specific to your needs can reduce the piles of information and you focus in on what is truly important to read and reference. When determining relevance consider the following: • Does the item contain information relevant to your argument or thesis? • Read the article’s introduction, thesis and conclusion. • Scan main headings and identify article keywords. Understanding more about your information’s source s you determine when, how, and where to use that information. Is your author an expert on the subject? Do they have some personal stake in the argument they are making? What is the author or information producer’s background? When determining the authority of your source, consider the following: • What are the author’s credentials? • What is the author’s level of education, experience, and/or occupation? • What qualifies the author to write about this topic? Determining where information comes from, if evidence supports the information, and if the information has been reviewed or refereed can you decide how and whether to use a source. When determining the accuracy of a source, consider the following: • Is the source well-documented? Does it include footnotes, citations or a bibliography? • Is information in the source presented as fact, opinion or propaganda? Are 76 The Information Literacy User’s Guide Chapter 5: Evaluate biases clear? • Can you verify information from referenced information in the source? • Is the information written clearly and free of typographical and grammatical mistakes? Does the source look to be edited before publication? A clean, well-presented paper does not always indicate accuracy, but usually at least means more eyes have been on the information Knowing why information was created is a key to evaluation. Understanding the reason or purpose of the information, if the information has clear intentions, or if the information is fact, opinion or propaganda will you decide how and why to use information. • Is the author’s purpose to inform, sell, persuade, or entertain? • Does the source have an obvious bias or prejudice? • Is the article presented from multiple points of view? • Does the author omit important facts or data that might disprove their argument? • Is the author’s language informal, joking, emotional, or impassioned?