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Subject Guides

Theatre, Film, Television & Interactive Media

Evaluating what you've found


Once you've found some interesting sources to use in your research, it's important that you evaluate each of them. This means deciding whether they're trustworthy, reliable and of good enough quality for an academic assignment. The questions in the tabs below will help you to determine whether a source should be considered trustworthy:

Click the tabs below

What should you look out for?

Who are the authors? Individuals? Experts? Companies?

Who published it?

Why is this important?

Look out for bias and opinion pieces e.g. a pharmaceutical company publishing research that says their new drug is effective.

What should you look out for?

What is the information?

Is it useful to your project?

Why is this important?

It needs to relate to your question – try to keep a focus on the question not just the general topic.

What should you look out for?

When was it published? Recent? Dated?

Why is this important?

Often you will need the most current information to answer your question.

What should you look out for?

Where did you find the information: website, blog, book, journal or database?

Where was the research conducted?

Why is this important?

Always try to get your information from reputable sources e.g. textbooks, journals. Research conduced in other countries may not always be relevant.

What should you look out for?

How was the research conducted?

Is it representative?

How can you use it to answer your need?

Why is this important?

If it’s a piece of research, how did they conduct it? Were the method and sample size appropriate and representative?

Will it support points you are making?

What should you look out for?

Why was it written?

What are the motivations behind it?

Why is this important?

Look out for bias – see also ‘Who?’

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Critical reading

Think critically about what you read...

  • examine the evidence or arguments presented
  • check out any influences on the evidence or arguments
  • check out the limitations of study design or focus
  • examine the interpretations made