Skip to Main Content

PSU 08 & PSU 16: First Year Seminar (Brandywine)

Brandywine First Year Seminar

Evaluating Sources Workshop Introduction

Often we seek information that confirms our own thoughts and feelings towards a topic. This is not research. Research and learning comes from finding sources that speak to the truth of a topic, no matter how much it hurts, or does not fit with your current ideas and beliefs. Only by keeping personal biases in check can you begin to vet information for credibility. The steps outlined below will help you find sources that are credible and reliable in your research process

We also hope this workshop will introduce you to the idea of information needs. We're going to look at a variety of sources. By the end of today's lesson, you should have a framework to be able to evaluate information and be able to describe who might find different types of information useful and what they might use it for. 

In this workshop, you'll practice using the APPLY method to evaluate sources. Keep reading for more information on what APPLY means. 





  • Does the author have education, experience, and expertise in the field?

Purpose/Point of view

  • Does the author have an agenda beyond education or information?


  • Who is the publisher? What is their end goal?

List of sources (bibliography)

  • Is the evidence reliable, sensible, and accessible?

Year of publication

  • Does the date of publication affect the information? 

Evaluating Sources Workshop


You will be assigned to one of the sources below, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. 

Click on your assigned source below and fill out the APPLY worksheet for that source. 

Remember, even if you wouldn't use this source for an academic paper, you might use it for another purpose! Consider who might be interested in the source as you're reading it. 

Source 1:   

Source 2:

Source 3:

Source 4:

Source 5:

Putting it All Together

We looked at five different types of sources in this workshop.

Some are academic, some are popular. Some are crowd-sourced, some were written by experts in their respective fields. They are all valuable for different purposes.

We hope you also learned to be aware of how information needs change depending on circumstances. 


Workshop Evaluation - Three Things

Please take one minute to complete this survey so we can make this workshop better in the future! Your input is valuable to us :-) 

Take a quick 3 question survey before you leave today!