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Speech 101: Evaluating Information

Information evaluation video

The following video shows you how to evaluate information. 

Librarian for Communication Studies & Theatre

Morgan Sederburg's picture
Morgan Sederburg
Contact:
SBL 123 Box 2115
South Dakota State University
Brookings, SD 57007
(605) 688-5955

Criteria for evaluating information

As you examine a source you think you may want to use, think about these questions to determine if and how that source may fit into your research. 

Accuracy 

  • Can the factual information be easily verified? Are sources cited?
  • Are they from reputable sources?
  • Is the writing clear and well organized without typos, spelling, or grammatical errors?

Authority

  • Who is the author or sponsor of the information and why should you believe him/her/them? (What are their credentials?)
  • Is there a way to establish the legitimacy of the author or sponsor? Contact information, etc.
  • Is the source affiliated with a larger, reputable organization?

Currency ​

  • When was the piece first written or most recently updated?
  • Is the time frame appropriate for the information needed?
  • So, if you are speaking on the American Civil War women (civil war was 1861-1865), could you use a diary written by a woman in 1863? Is this a current source?

Objectivity/Purpose​

  • Is any bias evident?
  • Is there advertising or sponsorship?
  • Is the information intended to inform or to persuade?

Scope/Coverage/Relevance ​

  • What audience is the piece intended for?
  • Is the information complete?
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