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Exceptional Children (SED 220)

This guide is designed to assist you in locating the sources needed for the literature review assignment.

Evaluating Resources

Evaluating Resources


Before you use a resource for an assignment, whether from a book, journal, or online source, it is important to evaluate it.

This is a quick guide to help you know what to watch for when you select your sources.

Review Sources with the ABCS

Review Sources with the ABCs


As you collect and review your sources, how do you determine what is okay to use in academic papers? 

Here are 4 considerations as you assess whether or not a source is right for use in your assignments.

  • Author: Who wrote it and what are their credentials? What larger organization are they affiliated with? If I google them, what do I find? Is this article in their area of expertise? Can you contact the author or organization?
  • Bias: Can you identify an angle/slant/bias in the article or on an affiliated web site? What is the purpose of the study or content—to prove something to a particular group? Can you corroborate the claims with at least two other sources?
  • Content: Is the source accurate? Are there basic mistakes in grammar, dead links, or spelling? When was it published, posted, or last updated? Does it contain claims that contradict things you know to be true or even other claims within the article itself?
  • Support: Does the content have citations or sources? Can you verify the sources? Do the sources' arguments support the claims of the item you're reviewing? 

Characteristics of a Scholarly Article

Characteristics of a Scholarly Article


1. Title may/may not indicate scholarship with words in title such as “journal” or “review” or “research.”

2. Main purpose is original research or thinking.

3. Will nearly always have an abstract (descriptive summary of the research) written by the author.

4. Language of the article assumes technical background knowledge.

5. Author is usually a scholar or researcher. Usually affiliated with an academic community

6. May contain graphics, illustrations, charts, etc. as supporting evidence.

7.  Article has been evaluated by “peers” – other experts in the field who agree that the research meets standards, is original and adds to the scholarly conversation.

8.  The length of the article is usually more than 4-5 pages. Can be quite lengthy!

9. Method of study is generally acceptable within the discipline of study. The academy determines this. 

10. A scholarly article will always have a list of references used (footnotes and bibliography.)

11. Reputable scholarly articles will not heavily rely on websites, news sources, but will use previous scholarly research.

Peer-Review Articles

Peer-Review Articles


Here is a short view on the peer-review system of articles and why it is important to find articles that have this criteria.

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