Beginning Undergraduate Information Literacy DevelopmentWilliam Madison Randall Library
  1. Home
  2. Introduction
  3. Information Cycle
  4. Investigating
  5. Searching
  6. Locating
  7. Evaluating
  8. Utilizing
  9. Ask a Librarian
  10. Acknowledgements

Evaluating

Clue 5: Purpose

Purpose is important because books, articles, and Web pages exist to educate, entertain, or sell a product or point of view. Some sources may be frivolous or commercial in nature, providing inadequate, false, or biased information.

How do you determine the purpose of your source?

  • Why did the author or publisher make this information available?
  • Is there an obvious bias or prejudice?
  • Are alternative points of view presented?
  • Does the author omit important facts or data that might disprove a claim?
  • Does the author use strong or emotional language?
image of scales
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