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ARTS 140 Social Change and Social Development; ARTS 130: Social Justice and Social Development: Evaluating Sources

This guide is created to help you with your assignments in finding academic and newspaper sources.

Selecting quality resources

Why Evaluate?

It is important to evaluate the information you are considering for your research. Your professor will know if you are using biased or inaccurate information in your assignments. Incorporating poor quality sources and information will influence the grade you receive on your assignments.

The link below is an interactive module introducing RADAR as a guide to evaluating your sources.


What is RADAR?

The RADAR Framework can help you remember what kinds of questions you should be asking about an information source as you evaluate it for quality and usefulness in your research.


 Relevance: the importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the information relate to your topic?
  • Who is the intended audience?

Authority: the source of your information

  • Who is the creator or author?
  • What are their credentials?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?

Date: the timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published?
  • When was the information updated?
  • Does your topic require recent information?

Accuracy: the reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content

  • Supported by evidence
  • Provides logical analysis
  • Cites quality research and studies

Reason for writingthe purpose for the existence of the information

  • What is the purpose of the information?
  • Is the information fact, opinion, propaganda?
  • Is the language or tone unbiased and free from emotion?

How can I learn more?

Visit the UW library’s online research guide Evaluating Information Sources.


Organizing your sources

  • Have a folder system (or file/pile system if working with printed documents) i. Label or store sources in High, Medium, and Low priority piles or folders
  • As you first select material, summarize each source in 1-3 lines summarizing the key points as they relate to your essay.
  • Store and label documents in a functional way that makes sense for you. For example, you could save PDFs and other documents by titling them "AUTHOR_ YEAR.pdf" or TITLE.pdf or some other way that will help you remember quicky which is which.