How do you know if a source you find is good? Dr. Waugh recommends the CARS method.

Credibility

  • Who wrote this source? Who is the author? 
  • If the author is not a person but an organization, do we have reason to trust them?
  • Do they have expertise in this area?
  • EX: Dr. Waugh has a PhD in Library Science. If she were to write a medical blog under the name Dr. Waugh, it would not be credible. If she wrote an article about teaching citation, that would be credible.

Accuracy

  • Is this article or source up to date? If it is not recent, how out of date is it? How relevant is the publication date to your topic (i.e. very important in fields like technology or medicine, more wiggle room in history)
  • Is the source complete? Are there aspects left out or is it comprehensive?
  • Is the source correct? Sometimes a source may simply be wrong. You should be particularly cautious with online sources. 

Reasonable

  • Is the source unbiased? 
  • If the source is biased, how and why? Sometimes you want to use a source with a point of view, but it is very important to know when that is happening. 
  • Is the source truthful? 

Support

  • Can you verify the source's information?
  • Is there a bibliography?

Casey, C. "Evaluating Websites." Common Sense Media. https://www.commonsense.org/education/lesson-plans/evaluating-websites. Accessed September 26, 2019

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