Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

ENGL 12B/14B Najarro



You can evaluate any source using the 5 W's:

  • Who: ...wrote it? Are they an expert?
  • What: the purpose of this resource?
  • Where: ...was this information published? ...does the information come from?
  • When: ...was this published or last updated?
  • Why: this resource useful? this resource better than other ones?

This infographic from PCC Library explains how different sources are created and shared, including:

  • Number published per day
  • Whether a source is reviewed and fact-checked
  • The authors background and education
  • Whether they cite outside sources
  • How many words they use
  • How much background you need to understand a source

To find descriptions of different types of sources, click on image of icons for different sources:  tweets, tumblr blogs, Youtube videos, newspapers, popular magazines, professional journals, scholarly journals, academic books, and encyclopedias


Pros Cons
Worlds largest encyclopedia with millions of entries on obscure topics Articles are not edited or peer-reviewed
Great place to start & identify keywords

Many instructors will not allow Wikipedia citations because they are not not edited or reviewed

Updated regularly, sometimes by the second Articles get vandalized for ideological reasons or just for fun
Can include excellent references & external links Can be skewed or biased -- based on authors interests, beliefs, opinions
Anyone can edit Wikipedia -- the people's encyclopedia! Anyone can edit Wikipedia -- no one checks their credentials or agendas