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Research skills

Selecting your sources

You can't trust everything you read!

There are steps in evaluate your sources before you use them in your assessments -

  1. Knowing what types of information you need for your assessments.
  2. Using the SIFT method and CRAAP test to evaluate the resources you find.

Information types

It is important to carefully evaluate your sources to gather more reliable and accurate information. There are two basic types of based on level of authority:


   Non -Scholarly

Academic, peer-reviewed, or refereed sources written by

  • academics or researchers who are experts in their fields and
  • for other academics to read.

Non-scholarly sources are not written by experts or for an academic audience.

  • often do not include any references, or
  • only a few references in a informal style.                                                          

Sources can be in the forms of

  • Journal article (print or in electronic databases) -  a scholarly journal. Its writing and focus is for a specific audience.
  • Books (print or ebook) -  some books can also be considered a scholarly resource.

Note: Most of electronic databases, such as William Angliss Library subscribed databases, allow you to limit you search for peer-reviewed or scholarly journals.


    A scholarly journal          Book - A scholarly resource

Sources can be in the forms of:

  • Newspaper article
  • Magazines
  • Government reports
  • Most websites including Wikipedia, Google, MSN ...etc.

Note: These sources can be a good starting place to search for background information of a topic.                     


Magazines - non scholarly source                                                              

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