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FYS 100 (10): The Politics of Sexual Education: Evaluating Resources

Determining the Source Type

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, and 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 re-publication 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?

Types of Articles You May Find in Education Journals

Types of Articles You May Find in Education Journals

Types of Scholarly Articles:

Reports on empirical research, which may be quantitative, qualitative, or mixed.

Some examples include case studies,observational research (laboratory or naturalistic), surveys, experiments testing the relationship between variables, etc.

Theoretical articles that explore the history, philosophy, or other cultural expression of ideas relevant to an understanding of education.

Review articles that critically assess works on a specific topic and which usually include  explanations of conflicts in the literature, an analysis of the field and its significance, and possible issues that should be considered in future research.


Types of Non-scholarly Articles:

Personal perspectives, which may take the form of an essay, an editorial, a blog, or other undocumented genre.

Articles in newspapers and general interest magazines.

Interviews (these may be primary sources, but they are not documented research).

Practical advice or tips based on personal experience.

Letters to the editor.