EVALUATING SOURCES GUIDE: PLEASE USE THIS GUIDE TO EVALUATE YOUR SOURCES
Step 4: How can I find academic information to support my research question?
- Have a tried a variety of sources? (i.e. media, articles, primary sources, documentaries, other images)
- Am I switching up my keywords? Trying synonyms, varying "nicknames", terminology, or different word combinations?
- Have I tried to truncate my search term? (i.e. searching for child* will yield results with children, childhood, childcare, etc)
- Am I combining database sources with internet searching?
- Was I able to locate an author or publishing site? Can I verify that they are qualified to write and publish on the subject?
- Am I locating sources that are close to their origin? (i.e.: primary and secondary sources vs. tertiary sources)
- Am I searching up information that proves my thesis in facets or parts? For example:
- My research question: How did poor living conditions during the dust bowl affect child labor and education?
- My research facets: I may find information about...
- Living conditions during the Dust Bowl for farmers, specifically how it affected children
- Background information on how the Dust Bowl impacted farms and crop yields
- History of the use of child labor during the 1930's in rural America
- The origins of the public American education system in rural America
- The enrollment, graduation statistics, and its effects on the classroom during the time period
- Impact of higher graduation rates on the American education system and workforce, and move to urbanized/suburban areas
- Using my analysis to connecting all my research facets together - using the sources to support my connections rather than relying on them to make the connection for me.