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CHE 205 - Water Chemistry

A guide for Prof. Runyon's CHE 205 group presentation and research paper assignment

Strategies for Evaluating Sources

  • Who wrote it?
    • Are they an expert?
    • What are their credentials?
    • What institution are they affiliated with?
  • Who was it written for?
    • For a general audience?
    • For an audience of scholars?
    • For a professional audience?
  • When was it written?
    • How recently?
    • If your topic is a pollution event, how long between the time of the event and when the article was written?
  • Why was it written?
    • What is the author's motive in writing the article?
    • To inform, sell, entertain?
    • If your topic is a pollution event, to make the polluter look good or bad?
  • What is the hypothesis?
    • Is the hypothesis something that can be proven or disproven using observation and deduction?
    • Does this topic even lend itself to scientific study?
  • What methods were used?
    • Did the researchers test for only one experimental variable at a time?
    • Did the researchers have a control group?
    • Did the researchers control for all the variables so that it's possible to be sure the results were as a consequence of the variables the researchers pinpointed?
    • Was it a double blind test?
  • If you're comparing two statistics, are they measuring the same thing?
    • Are they using the same methods and instruments?
    • Are they defining that thing in the same way?

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Reference Sources, aka. Encyclopedias