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EComp 313 - Creative Nonfiction

Deanna Benjamin

Quick Check - Evaluating Websites (and Other Sources)

When considering websites (or really any kind of source), ask yourself these questions:

Authority - Who is the author? What is their point of view?

Purpose - Why was the source created? Who is the intended audience?

Publication & format - Where was it published? In what medium?

Relevance - How is it relevant to your research? What is its scope?

Date of publication - When was it written? Has it been updated?

Documentation - Did they cite their sources? Who did they cite?

Evaluative Criteria

Evaluating Sources

During the research process you will need to evaluate a variety of factors in which the information presented plays a role in quality, relevance, authority, and reliability of a source.

Comparison Table - Articles

Criteria Scholarly Article                                                          Popular Article


Authors are scholars and experts in the field. Authors are always named, and their institutional affiliation is given.    

Authors are staff writers or journalists.


Publishers may be university presses or professional associations. Articles may be edited through the peer-review process by scholars in the same field of study.

Publishers are corporations, working for profit.


Articles are longer with a focus on research projects, methodology and theory. Language is more formal, technical, using discipline specific terminology.


Articles may be shorter with a general focus on the topic and written for news or entertainment value.

Sources Cited


Sources are cited and a bibliography or footnotes provided to document the research.

Sources are not usually cited.


Article may include these sections: abstract, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, and a bibliography.   

Specific format is not followed.


Audience consists of academics, scholars, researchers, and professionals.

Audience is the general public.