Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Community & Human Services: Evaluate Sources

You need to critically evaluate ALL information sources, whether from the web, in print, your professor, or the library (this can be done at differing levels; you generally want to evaluate at a deeper level items you find on the open web). Ideally you want to make sure you are finding literature that represents a variety of viable (and potentially conflicting) perspectives on your topic. You also need to critically evaluate each piece of information you intend to use in your research for:

  1. reliability (see Rat TRAP handout below),
  2. to make sure it meets the needs of your assignment, and
  3. to see if it provides supporting evidence for the arguments/ideas in your paper. 

Evaluation techniques:

Reading Scholarly Sources

IMPORTANT: scholarly articles are written by and for experts. They are very narrow in focus. For example: you will likely not find scholarly sources about all aspect of something like "human services" or "counseling for abused children." This doesn't necessarily mean you need to change your topic. It does mean that you will often need to locate multiple articles that only discuss parts of your topic (for example, one article may discuss music therapy techniques for abuse children, while another may cover legal aspects of working with abused children), and then collect useful knowledge from those articles in order to understand and write about the broader paper topic of counseling abused children.