(Click to expand each section)
Strategy: In a book, look towards the front for the publication year or copyright date. For an article, look at the top or bottom for a date. For a website, look at the top or bottom of the webpage.
Strategy: Do a Google search for the author's name and analyze the results.
Strategy: Search for an article, book, or website on the same topic and compare the information in both sources.
Strategy: Look at the content. Do you feel that it provides enough information and will be helpful for your topic?
Strategy: Read the text. Does it seem like the content simply conveys information, or is it trying to persuade?
Find the source of the information you're evaluating. Ask yourself the following questions:
To find the answer to these questions, you need to read the text carefully and you may have to do some background/fact-checking research to help determine if the source is reliable or biased.
Sources of information may contain bias -- especially political bias. Media can be geared towards one wing or another to meet the ideologies of their readers. Professional journalists and reporters try to adhere to journalistic objectivity where they present the facts and allow the reader to decide. However, even in non-partisan periodicals and scholarly journals you can find opinion and bias. Identifying bias will help you determine if a source is appropriate to use. If the article content is objective and cites factual evidence, it may be a good source even if the publication leans one way or another on the political spectrum.
The following list of resources is not intended to be comprehensive. Do your research to determine if a source leans one way or another.
|Liberal/Left/Progressive Leaning||Non-partisan/Moderate||Conservative/Right Leaning|
|The Boston Globe (newspaper)||Christian Science Monitor (newspaper)||New York Post (newspaper)|
|Los Angeles Times (newspaper)||Chronicle of Higher Education (newspaper)||Wall Street Journal (newspaper)|
|New York Times (newspaper)||Newsweek (magazine)||Washington Times (newspaper)|
|Washington Post (newspaper)||Time (magazine)||The American Spectator (magazine)|
|The American Prospect (magazine)||U.S. News & World Report (magazine)||National Review (magazine)|
|Mother Jones (magazine)||Business Week (magazine)||The New American (magazine)|
|The Nation (magazine)||The Economist (magazine)||The Weekly Standard (magazine)|
|Politics and Society (journal)||Public Opinion Quarterly (journal)||The National Interest (magazine)|
|Science and Society (journal)||The Washington Quarterly (journal)||Heritage Foundation (policy think tank)|
|Center for American Progress (policy think tank)||Brookings Institution (policy think tank)||Manhattan Institute (policy think tank)|