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English 370: Literary New Orleans: Evaluating Sources for Quality

Think Like a Journalist

The basic rules for evaluating a source for quality are the same as the "5 W's" of journalism: Who, What, When, Where, Why.

Who produced the document, image, video, sound file, etc. and what do you know about them, their credentials, and their motives?

What is the factual or emotional content of the source and does it reflect reality?

When was it produced and does that time frame alter its potential usefulness?

Where was it published and does that publisher evaluate sources before publishing them?  Does the place of publication reflect on the competence or impartiality of the source?  Is this a republication and, if so, where was it originally published?

Why was the item produced and published?  To educate?  To influence?  To sell something?  To promote the creator?