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Find and use information

Why should you choose and evaluate sources carefully?

The type of information you use in a situation depends on your purpose or need in that situation. At University you are required to use credible and relevant information sources, such as academic journal articles.

To test your knowledge: take the quiz at the bottom of the page!

How to evaluate sources using the 5 Ws

TRAAP test - another way to evaluate information


  • Timeliness
    • Find the date of publication (or copyright)
    • Is this date appropriate for your research?
  • Relevance
    • Does the information relate to your topic?
    • Can you use this information to support the argument you wish to make?
  • Authority
    • Is the author or creator identified?
    • Does he or she have relevant qualifications?
    • Who is the publisher?
    • Web - Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? examples: .com .edu .gov .org .ne
  • Accuracy
    • Is the information supported by references?
    • Does the content seem neutral and free of emotion?
    • Are there errors in spelling or grammar?
  • Purpose
    • Is the information brief or detailed?
    • What group of readers (audience) is the information for?
    • What is the purpose of the content? Is it to educate, inform, entertain or sell?
    • Is the content scholarly or popular?

TRAAP model for evaluating sources

Evaluating news

Keepin' it real - tips and strategies for evaluating fake news - Library guide from William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University , Los Angeles.

Critiquing research


To critique literature properly requires more in-depth engagement with the text.  Remember to check with your lecturer and with the learning outcomes of your course to ensure you meet expectations.

Evaluating resources

Test your knowledge