Evaluating information sources is critical to the process of academic research.
There are a few criteria to consider when looking at potential resources to see if they are appropriate for your research.
Each resource should be given the PARCA test, which is a set of questions that address specific evaluation criteria. Answers to these questions do not necessarily exclude a resource, but they should help to decide how it fits in your research and its appropriate use.
The evaluation criteria include questions on purpose, authority, relevance, currency and accuracy – PARCA.
As you begin your research, you also need to be thinking about the development of your topic. For more information, take a look at the Choosing a Topic module for useful information on that important process.
After selecting the types of sources you wish to use for your assignment, see the Research Strategies module for information on how to find specific items on your topic.