Evaluating Information Sources
When you do research for your assignments or are doing some studying, you will look at various information sources. You need to think critically not just about how the sources agree or disagree with your arguments, but also whether you should be using these sources in the first place. When it comes to information sources, quality is better than quantity. If you are using sources to support your argument, then those sources should be credible. You might lose marks by using poor quality or inappropriate sources, so it's important to make sure you assess your sources before you using them.
This is especially true for using web pages as information sources. The web is great: it is accessible, convenient and provides information on anything and everything. However, the web is that is so large and contains so much stuff, that it's often difficult to assess and evaluate that information; anyone can create a website and publish anything on the web, no matter how false, biased or just plain ridiculous.
Because of this, you should also think about applying some scrutiny to websites when you're using the web for non-academic purposes. Ever been persuaded to buy something cheap and off-brand because of the reviews? Chances are most of them were fake. For many product categories on Amazon, the majority of customer reviews are fake, especially when it comes to popular electronics products (be very careful of buying headphones from Amazon).
You don't have to be any kind of expert to be able to figure out whether a web page can be trusted, and same goes for other information sources, such as books and articles. These pages will help you assess the quality of your sources and whether they can be trusted. The pages concentrate on evaluating websites, but you can use the same methods to think about other sources too.
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