Primary resources contain first-hand information, meaning that you are reading the author’s own account on a specific topic or event that s/he participated in.
Secondary sources describe, summarize, or discuss information originally presented in another source; meaning the author, in most cases, did not participate in the event.
Textbooks, magazine articles, book reviews, commentaries, encyclopedias, review articles, almanacs
How do I determine if a resource is credible?
CREDIBILITY – How do you know the information and the author are authentic and reliable?
• Who is the general/target audience?
• Who is the publisher?
• What are the author’s credentials?
• Is the author/writer an authority/expertise on the subject?
• Is the author/writer’s contact information provided with affiliation?
ACCURACY - How do you know the information is up-to-date, factual, detailed, and comprehensive?
• What is the date of publication or copyright?
• Is the material peer-reviewed?
• Is the purpose of research and conclusion clearly stated?
• What kind of resources are cited, can you find the cited sources easily?
• Is the information relevant to your research needs?
RELEVANCE – How do you know the information is fair, objective, and consistent?
• Is the purpose, intent of research and conclusion clearly stated?
• Is the information provided balanced and the arguments supported by the facts?
SUPPORT – How reliable, accurate, reasonable and well-supported are the sources for your resource?
• How many sources support the resource? Can you find them easily?
• Pick one source and evaluate it with the CARS list. How credible, accurate, reasonable, and well-supported does it seem?