Understanding information

This page will help you determine if the information you find is suitable to use in university-level writing.

Once you have found information it is important to understand the reliability and context of the information source.  The information you find will range from the gold standard of peer reviewed literature at one end of the suitability spectrum all the way to social media rants at the other end.  

Not all information is created equal. The following advice will help you identify what kind of information you have found and decide if it is suitable for your assessment/research and how much weight you should give to that information in your argument. It’s important to consider where your information is coming from and its validity in an academic setting. You need to make a distinction between scholarly and popular material. We’ve outlined the most popular sources and their identifying features below:

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