CRLS 4997: Evaluating Sources

Criminology and Law Studies
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Why Articles

Articles appear in magazines, journals, periodicals, and newspapers.  Use articles for:

• most recent research on a topic
• coverage of very narrow topics
• coverage of current events
• contemporary accounts of past events and research

Types of articles

Types of Periodicals

Periodicals, journals, magazines fall into categories determined by their overall purpose.
Popular: Written for general public; authors usually not experts on topic; purpose is to provide current, social, cultural news, discussion and entertainment.
Trade: Written for individuals in a specific career/job or with a specific interest.  Authors are generally persons working in the field or journalists with specialized knowledge.  Articles discuss current issues but are not reports of research.
Scholarly: Written for, and authored by, researchers, educators, students.  Articles are reports of original research or other scholarly inquiry.

Evaluating Articles

Evaluate articles by:
Purpose: Is the purpose to inform, entertain, persuade or educate?
Objectivity: Are various sides or points-of-view represented?
Author: Does the author have expertise on the topic?
Date: Is the information current or timely for your topic?
Bibliography: Are the authors sources of information cited completely.


Evaluating Sources