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How to Determine if an Article is Reliable

This guide will assist determining whether a source is reliable and if it matches the 'popular' or 'scholarly' designation.

How To

Determine if an article
is reliable

Reliable Sources:

provide a thorough, well-reasoned theory, argument, or discussion based on strong evidence


Most sources can be categorized as one of these types of sources:

  • Scholarly peer-reviewed articles and books
  • Trade or professional articles and books
  • Magazine articles, books and newspaper articles from well-established publishers
  • Magazine articles, books and newspaper articles written for entertainment purposes
  • Websites and blogs
  • Background sources

Professors typically prefer scholarly peer-reviewed articles and books, but usually accept sources from trade and well-established publishers. Individual websites and blogs can be hit or miss, so be sure to check with your professor or a Librarian before using. Background sources are great for facts, but often do not count towards citation requirements.

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