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SPAN 409: Colonial Spanish American Literature (Carcelén-Estrada): Evaluation & Citation

Citation Guides - MLA Style

 Citation Guides on the Web

 Citation Guides in the Library 

Evaluating Sources

Whether searching on the web or browsing the library stacks, it's important to pay attention to the sources you are using and evaluate them critically. This, of course, is usually more crucial for web resources, but is good practice when doing research of any kind. 

Questions to help you evaluate sources as your research: 

Who is the author?
How is the author qualified?
Is the author an expert?
Does the author have bias? (Remember that a bias may not be directly stated.)
If no author is listed, why? Be wary if you cannot determine an author or group responsible for the content you are reading. 

Host or Publisher
Who hosts the site? OR Who publishes this resource?
What is their purpose and audience?
Does the host/publisher have bias?  (Remember that a bias may not be directly stated.)

For Websites: Domain 
What is the domain extension? This can help you determine how reputable a website is. For example, .gov is the domain for United States government sites and .edu is for US Educational institutuions. Note that not all .com sites are unreliable and not all .org sites are reputable -- .org simply means that the website is for a non-profit group. 

Does the resource provide its sources?
Does it refer/link you to other credible sources?
Is the information able to be cross-referenced?

Is the site regularly updated? OR When was the resource published? 
Is there any information which seems out-of-date?