Sometimes titles and summaries of sources are misleading. We cannot always tell whether something is relevant by only looking at the first page. Taking a few minutes to *carefully scan* the entire article will help you decide if an article is relevant.


Consider your research question. What are you hoping to accomplish with your paper or project? What kind of information would be helpful in accomplishing this? Remember *you* are the only one who can decide if something is relevant for your purposes, but your instructor might have valuable insights as well.


Ask yourself these questions to see how your topic and your potential source relate:

  • Does this source make my paper/presentation better? What does this source do for me?
  • How could I using this source in a helpful way? For example:
  • Does it provide background or contextual information? Does it provide evidence for one of my points? Can I analyze it to undermine an opposing argument? Can I use the information as an example to illustrate a point?

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