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Evaluating sources: Potential Sources Tool

Grade 8 Potential Sources Tool

Grade 8 research employs a Potential Sources Tool which looks at seven areas to consider when evaluating sources:

  • date
  • publisher
  • author 
  • type (purpose)
  • accessibility & interest
  • relevance & richness
  • credibility & accuracy

Potential Sources Tool Credit: https://www.odelleducation.com/curriculum/

Introduction to Evaluating Sources video

VIDEO

Source: Tacoma Community College - Panapto video created by Heather Gillanders

 

Grade 8 Potential Sources Tool

When considering the date, ask yourself these questions:

  • How does the publishing date relate to the history of the topic? 
  • How current is the information on the topic?

*See CURRENCY tab for more information

Potential Sources Tool Credit: https://www.odelleducation.com/curriculum/

When considering the publisher, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the publisher’s relationship to or perspective on the topic? 
  • What economic and political stakes might the publisher have in the topic?

*See BIAS and PURPOSE tabs for more information

Potential Sources Tool Credit: https://www.odelleducation.com/curriculum/

When considering the author, ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the author’s qualifications relative to the topic? 
  • What is the author’s personal relationship to the topic including any economic and political stakes?

*See AUTHORITY tab for more information

Potential Sources Tool Credit: https://www.odelleducation.com/curriculum/

When considering the type, ask yourself this question:

  • What is the purpose of the text with respect to the topic?

Type = Purpose

  • To inform
  • To persuade
  • To entertain
  • To sell me something

*See PURPOSE tab for more information

Potential Sources Tool Credit: https://www.odelleducation.com/curriculum/

When considering accessibility and interest, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I able to read and comprehend the text?
  • What background knowledge do I need to understand the terminology, information, and ideas in the text?
  • Does the text present ideas or information that I find interesting?

*Remember to look for the "Read Aloud" feature on many available databases for more accessibility

Potential Sources Tool Credit: https://www.odelleducation.com/curriculum/

When considering relevance & richness, ask yourself these questions:

  • How does the text help me respond to my inquiry questions or achieve my research goals?
  • How extensive and supported is the information it provides?
  • How does the information relate to other texts?

Potential Sources Tool Credit: https://www.odelleducation.com/curriculum/

When considering credibility & accuracy, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the text provide accurate, current, and supported information?
  • Can I corroborate the information with other sources?
  • Does the author demonstrate bias and does it affect the integrity of the information?

*See AUTHORITYACCURACY, and BIAS tabs for more information

TIP: Check for previous work: Look around to see whether someone else has already fact-checked the claim or provided a synthesis of research. [Some places to look: WikipediaSnopesPolitifact, and NPR’s Fact Check website.]

Potential Sources Tool Credit: https://www.odelleducation.com/curriculum/

Source Credit

This content was originally created by Tacoma Community College Library and shared with a CC BY SA 4.0 license.