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Evaluating Sources

Evaluating Blogs

Using blogs as a resource can be a great source of up-to-date information on a topic. While there are many useful blogs for academic use, many others are not written to be used as a scholarly source or are simply inaccurate. Some blogs are edited by an organization or news company, others have no editorial review and are written by an amateur - both could be used, you just need to evaluate.

Questions to ask while evaluating a blog are:

  • Who is the blogger?
    • Has the blogger been published elsewhere?
    • If the blogger is not a traditional “expert,” is this a first-hand view that would also be valuable for research? Is it a unique perspective?
  • How sound is it?
    • What is the focus?
    • What sorts of materials is the blogger reading or citing?
    • Is the site up front about its bias?
    • Does it recognize/discuss other points of view?
    • Is there a substantial archive?
    • How current are the posts?
    • At what point in a story’s lifetime did a post appear? Examining a story’s date may offer clues as to the reliability of a blog entry.
  • Is it well written?
    • What is the tone?
    • How sophisticated is the language, the spelling?