A good research assignment starts with S.T.A.R. quality information. Evaluate the quality of the information sources you find using the S.T.A.R. criteria. Ask yourself the following questions:
Who is the author? Who is making the information available? What are their credentials or qualifications? What makes them an authority on this subject? Is the source biased or expressing opinion? Choose sources that are credible and relatively objective.
When was the information published or last updated? Does the date of publication matter to your assignment? For example, if you are working on a current event, or a science or health topic, you will need something that has been published recently. If you are working on an historical topic, currency may not be as important.
Is the information free of spelling, grammatical and technical errors? Where did the information come from? Look for information or references that can be verified.
Does this information meet the requirements of your assignment? How will it help answer the question you are asking? Choose information that will help you build a strong argument, illuminate concepts, or provide the best evidence.
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