Not all the articles you find will provide appropriate or useful information for your assignment.
Many articles can be eliminated before reading them by reading the full citation and abstract.
- Author/organization What are the author’s credentials or affiliations? Was he/she mentioned by a professor, in a class text, or cited frequently in class readings? Is the organization reputable?
- Publication date or edition Is a recent publication date of consequence to the research topic in question? Is there a newer edition that may have more up-to-date information?
- Periodical type Is this type of publication appropriate for this research topic?
- Scholarly journals: Have articles written by researchers. Articles are often "peer reviewed;" they are judged by experts in the field to be worthy of publication. The articles often include footnotes and bibliographies. The journals are often published by professional organizations such as: Journal of the Royal Music Association.
- Popular/General Interest: Have articles written by journalists and have glossy format. Articles in periodicals such as Scientific American or the Wall Street Journal may require some degree of academic knowledge or background. Others such as Rolling Stone Magazine, People, and Self have easier-to-read articles and general information. Sources of information are not likely to be cited in footnotes and bibliographies.
- Bibliographies/Citations Are the sources of information cited?
- Objectivity Is the organization or author clearly biased? Is there an attempt to distinguish fact from opinion?