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ENGL 5206: Public & Professional Writing

Research guide to support ENGL 5206, a course developed to advance skills in composing and publishing business, professional, and public-sector communications, emphasizing visual design, graphics, desktop publishing, and document management systems.

Finding Sources, and Thinking Critically About Them





Evaluating Source Credibility


Things to Consider


When you encounter any kind of source, consider:

  1. Authority - Who is the author? What is their point of view? 
  2. Purpose - Why was the source created? Who is the intended audience?
  3. Publication & format - Where was it published? In what medium?
  4. Relevance - How is it relevant to your research? What is its scope?
  5. Date of publication - When was it written? Has it been updated?
  6. Documentation - Did they cite their sources? Who did they cite?

Explore more at: 

Evaluating Different Types of Sources




  • Read the preface of the book to get an idea of the author's intent
  • Scan the table of contents to get an idea of what material it will cover
  • Is there a bibliography included?
  • Read the chapters that are relevant to your topic


  • Read the abstract of the article
  • Skim the article for relevant information
  • Read the bibliography or works cited list at the end of the article
  • Read the article to summarize

Intended Audience

  • What type of audience is the source written for?


Bias/ Objective Reasoning

  • Is the information being covered fact, opinion or propaganda?  Facts can be verified.  
  • Does the information appear well researched?
  • Is the author point of view objective and impartial? Do you notice the use of emotional language? 


Explore more at: 

Evaluating Websites



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