Research skills

Evaluating information

Why quality matters

So why should you ensure your sources are of good quality?

1. The quality of your research sources will influence the quality of your own work – and consequently your marks.

  • Make sure you don’t base your own work on misleading or inaccurate information
  • The quality of the sources in your reference list or bibliography will demonstrate the strength and depth of your research
  • Your tutors will expect you to use reputable sources, appropriate to your level of study.

2. Show that you are engaging with the key writers, thinkers and research in your subject

  • If you are studying the topic, you should demonstrate your awareness of current thinking and research
  • This will usually be found in the good quality books, textbooks and journals published in the subject area.

3. The Internet provides a quick and easy way of searching for information – however, it lacks any quality control process so anyone can publish anything on the web.

  • Think about whether you want reputable, good quality sources and consider where you are most likely to find these for your particular subject.