Evaluating and using Information

2. How do I know that I have found the information that I need?

There are some simple questions which you should always ask yourself when evaluating information:
  • Who wrote the text you are reading? Can you determine the author's credentials?
  • What actually is it? Is it an article or perhaps a passage from an e-book, or does it come from a blog, a tweet or an online discussion thread?
  • Why was this text written? Consider the motives of the author - are they trying to persuade, to demonstrate or prove something?
  • When was it written? It is not always the case that the most recently published information is the best so think carefully about this.
  • And finally, is what you are reading relevant to your own work?

Check out this short animated introduction to evaluating information: it will help you memorise the five points mentioned above until they have become second nature.

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