Writing and Research

Evaluating Information:

Let's face it...some of the information you'll find online is, well, CRAP. Use the below information to flush out the good from the bad. 

Currency: is this the most up-to-date information on my topic?
Relevance: does this information relate to my topic?
Authority: is the author qualified to write about this subject?
Accuracy: has this information been fact-checked?
Purpose: is this information objective, or is it biased?


Evaluating Information:

CARDS for website evaluation 


Use this acronym - CARDS - to help you evaluate websites before you take information from them.  

Note: The greater the number of “Yes’s,” the higher the likelihood that you have chosen a reputable and trustworthy source of information.  


C - Credibility: 

  1. Can you find the author/sponsor of the informationWhat are their credentials? Education? Experience? Affiliations?  

  1. Can you find an "about us" or "contact us" linkDoes it give more than an email address?  Is there a phone number or associated address? 

A - Accuracy: 

  1. Are there clear and apparent errors on the page (i.e.. spelling, grammar, facts)? This may indicate a lack of control over what content is included and may include inaccuracies or misinformation.  

  1. Do they cite the sources of their information? Are there links to their sources? 

R - Reliability: 

  1. Is the source free from any sense of bias (unless the intent of the writing is to persuade a reader, there should be balanced information focused on factual statements rather than opinions).  

  1. Is the information intended to advertise or promote a product or service? 

D - Date: 

  1. Is it easy to find the copyright date? 

  1. Are there dates for when it was writtenWhen was it last revised? Could this information be outdated? 

  1. If there are statistics, graphs and/or charts, is it clearly stated when the data was gathered? 

S - Source: 

  1. Is the information based on primary or secondary sources?  

  1. Are there links to other sources that would score high in this CARDS evaluation? 


Additionally, recognize and take into consideration the internet address domain. 

  • commercial or business  = .com 

  • educational institutions  = .edu 

  • government agencies  = .gov 

  • military organizations  = .mil 

  • network resources  =  .net 

  • organizations (non-profit and others)  =  .org 


Citation Machine: A product of Grammarly!

Grammarly provides access to a free Citation Generator.

This feature is helpful for sources that don't have a citation already made and shared publicly. 


Citation Options

There are different styles for citing the sources you use in your assignments. Your instructor will let you know whether to use APA, MLA, or some other style. Here are some introductory guides to these styles from the Purdue Online Writing Lab: 

Our databases provide citations for articles, books, videos (etc.) from the research that you find. Just look for a link that says Cite or Citation, then select the appropriate style. It's easy to copy and paste citations into your bibliography! 

Organizing Ideas

Argument Essay Template

Don't forget your Counter-Argument and Rebuttal!

Drop- Off Writing from The Roost

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