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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.
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Dana Casper
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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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