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Humanities: Evaluating sources

This is a guide to the Library's collection in Humanities. It is not comprehensive, but rather provides a good starting point for research.

Why Use the Library

All information is at your fingertips, and it's all good, right?


Many people think that the Internet has made all information available, as long as you can find it.  But, that's not the case.  Some never makes it online, while other sources are only available for a cost - often large.  And don't forget, there is a lot on the Internet that is at best not any good, and at worst deliberately false or misleading.

The library exists to help you learn how to find good information, as well as to provide you access to sources that are only offered at a cost.  Our online databases and print collection give you full-text access to most of what you might need, and the librarians can help you get what we don't have, if you give us enough time.

Watch the State Farm commercial below for a humorous look at the Internet.


Craig Friebolin. Can't Lie on the Internet. YouTube.

Evaluating Resources

 Critical thinking

C.R.A.A.P. Test

The C.R.A.A.P. Test is a useful tool to aid you in determining if information is good.  It looks at the Currency (age), Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose of the information. 

Lateral Reading

Identifying Periodical Types

Part of evaluating periodical sources is determining what type they are.  Periodicals can be scholarly journals, trade publication, popular magazines, or newspapers.  Newspapers are fairly easy to distinguish from the others, but it can be difficult to sort the others out if you don't know what you are looking at.  Follow the link below to a site that explains it all, with the help of illustrations.

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

This interactive example of a scholarly article, from the North Carolina State University Library, describes the different parts of a scholarly article.  Knowing how scholarly articles are presented will help you when choosing sources, as well as when reading and using them in your work.

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