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CAS 100A: Effective Speech

Evaluating Information

Author/ Authority

Who wrote this?
One author? Multiple? A government agency?
Are they an expert?

      -Do they have their masters?

      -Do they have a PHD?

      -Are they a hobbyist?

      -Respectable organization?



How current is the information?

•Is it recent enough for the topic you are researching? 
5-10 year range. 
Some subjects research ages faster than others.

              - Health and Medicine

              - Business

              - Technology


Intended Audience 

General Public




              -Scholarly Journal

              -Trade article

•Do you need prior knowledge on the subject?
What age group was this source wirtten for?



  • Is this information accurate? 
  • if you feel wary about a source google it. Find other coverage that better suits your needs — more trusted, more in-depth, or maybe just more varied. And compare what they have to say.
  • If there are other links, are they also complete and accurate? Do any of them lead to dead links, or a 404 error?
  • Does the site appear to be carefully edited or are there typing errors.
  •  Are there citations? Do they backup the claim 



Being in favor for or against one thing, person, or group.
What is the authors intent?
Does the author present objective arguments or make it clear when he/she is expressing an opinion.

Looking for Bias 

If it is a personal website or blog, does it express personal opinions?
Are other points of views explored or expressed?
Large amount of advertisements and pop-ups.

Lack of citations

Comparison of Types of Journals

The information below can help you understand the differences between scholarly journals, professional/trade journals, and popular periodicals. 

​Peer Reviewed = Scholarly?  Not always. Scholarly implies an academic audience whereas some non-scholarly works can undergo editorial review or review by peers.
Comparison of Scholarly, Professional, and Popular Periodicals
Criteria Scholarly Journals Professional/Trade Journals Popular Periodicals/ Magazines
Audience Researchers and experts Members of a trade or profession The general public
Author Researchers and experts Staff writers and experts in the field Staff writers, although many articles are unsigned
References (Sources cited) Includes reference lists and bibliography. All quotes and facts are documented. Reference lists sometimes included. References rarely included.
Purpose To disseminate research findings  To publicize current topics in the field and professional issues To disseminate general information or to entertain
Content Detailed research reports and methodologies  Trends, standards, and new technologies in the field General interest stories and news; may include personal narrative and opinions
Language Jargon that assumes expertise in the field Jargon that assumes expertise in the field Language that requires no expertise
Publisher Associations or universities Associations Commercial organizations
Layout Highly structured organization; includes abstract, bibliography, charts or graphs Structured organization; usually includes abstract, bibliography, charts or graphs Informal organization: eye-catching type and format; includes illustrations or photographs
Examples Journal of the American Medical Association; Political Science Quarterly Hospital Business Week; Real Estate Weekly News; Farm Industry News Time; Newsweek; Science News