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GO111 Maisel: Intro to American Government and Politics: Assess

This stage of the research process

By including an article in your paper, you are essentially endorsing it. It is your responsibility as a scholar to make sure you are only using resources that you can stand by. Having higher quality sources will also make your argument stronger.

Assessing Information

Vetting an article before using it in your work is at least as involved as finding it in the first place. Things to check are:

  • Does this article help me address my research question?
  • Who wrote it? What are their credentials? What agenda might they bring into their research? What tone are they using?
  • Who published it? Is it a peer-reviewed journal? What's the source's reputation?
  • What is this article citing? Are they building on previous research?
  • Is there more recent research that has changed the consensus on this topic? (note that political science isn't a field where old automatically means outdated)
  • Are there obvious flaws in methodology? (eg. a sample size of 2)
  • Looking at your sources as a whole, are certain viewpoints underrepresented?


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