COM 250 Speaking to Make a Difference

A guide to library research for speech preparation

What is the best resource?

What is the best resource to use?

It's a trick question! The answer depends upon numerous factors--such as the topic, the author, your goals, and the audience.   The right resource for any given purpose could be an academic journal article, the local paper, a business website, or even a personal blog.

In all of these cases, it's important to know how to evaluate them for credibility.

Credibility Is Contextual

Critical Evaluation of Internet Resources

Evaluating Resources

Use this checklist to determine if a source is appropriate:

Authority: Who wrote it? What credentials does s/he have? [PhD, affiliation with university]

Source: Where was it published? How was it selected for publication? [look at submission guidelines for evidence of peer review or other editorial processes]

Currency: When was it published? Has it appeared in other forms with/out revision?

Research: Are other sources cited in a bibliography/reference list? Are foot/endnotes used?

Bias: Is there an objective viewpoint? Is the author making assertions without documentation, or with questionable documentation? [e.g., her/his own work, crackpots]