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Pacific Lutheran University

Inquiry. Service. Leadership. Care.

Getting Started with Research

Whether this is your first time doing research, you need a quick refresher, or you want to improve your own research practices, this guide is design to assist you.

Evaluating Sources

During the research process, you will need to evaluate the quality, reliability, and authority of each individual source you review so you can determine the extent to which the author’s perspective may play a role in the presentation of that information.



The video above asks you to think about who, why, and where whenever you have to evaluate a source of information. However, those questions are just a part of the evaluation process. Below, you will find a set of additional guiding question that are useful whenever you have to evaluate a source or determine its relevance.



  • Who is the author (or creator) of this information?
  • What other works has this author/creator produced?
  • Who else is included in this “conversation?



  • What are some of the main points in this information?
  • What perspectives or which voices might be missing? Why might these have been excluded?



  • Where did you discover this information?
  • Where was this information originally shared? Why might the author/creator have chosen this venue for their information?



  • When was this information produced, and in what context?



  • Why did the author/creator produce this information? For what purpose and what audience was this information created?



  • How was this information created? Were certain methods used?
  • How (and what) is evidence used to support this information?