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Community College Leadership : Evaluating--Research

Community Colleges

Develop Topic

Developing a good research question can sometimes be the most                                                                                                                difficult part of the research process. If you are struggling, follow the links below.

  • Select a topic
  • Develop research questions
  • Identify keywords
  • Find background information
  • Refine your topic

Know Your Sources

1. Authority / Credibility 

  • Who is the author (person, company, or organization)?
  • Does the source provide any information that leads you to believe the author is an expert on the topic?
  • Can you describe the author's background (experience, education, knowledge)?
  • Does the author provide citations? Do you think they are reputable?

2. Accuracy

  • Can facts or statistics be verified through another source?
  • Based on your knowledge, does the information seem accurate?
  • Does it match the information found in other sources?
  • Are there spelling or grammatical errors?

3. Scope / Relevance

  • Does the source cover your topic comprehensively or does it cover only one aspect?
  • To what extent does the source answer your research question?
  • Is the source considered popular or scholarly?
  • Is the terminology and language used easy to understand?

4. Currency / Date

  • When was the source written and published?
  • Has the information been updated recently?
  • Is currency pertinent to your research?

5. Objectivity / Bias / Reliability

  • What is the purpose or motive for the source (educational, commercial, entertainment, promotional, etc.)?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the author pretending to be objective, but really trying to persuade, promote or sell something?

6. Style / Functionality

  • Is the source well-written and organized?
  • To what extent is it professional looking?
  • If it is a website, can you navigate around easily?
  • If it is a website, are links broken?

Research

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