Skip to Main Content
Lemieux Library
Lemieux Library

UCOR 1800: Environmental Skeptic



 Environmental Skeptic

 Welcome! Use this guide to complete the in-class activities for the library session.

Developing more search terms for in class activity

Jot down the main terms that relate to your research question. Include terms that are broader or narrower than your topic. These terms are called key terms (or keywords), and they are the words you will use when you search for sources. It is helpful to keep track of these in your notes and add terms that work well to your list as you come upon them in your research.

Example research question: How can companion animals improve health?

Key terms: pets, pet therapy, companion animals, therapeutic use, health, health benefits, chronic illness

For complicated or more involved research, it may be helpful to organize and keep track of your terms in a chart:

An image of a grid depicting an example of keywords and related concepts: 1.	Use the top row for main themes or concepts: a.	The themes in the top row include: Companion Animals, Health, Therapy, and Improve. 2.	Fill in the columns with related synonyms or concepts: a.	The column under Companion Animals includes the related concept: Pets. b.	The column under Health includes the related concepts: Health Benefits, Wellness, Wellbeing, and Chronic Illness. c.	The column under Therapy includes the related concepts: Pet Therapy, and Therapeutic Use. d.	The column under Improve includes the related concepts: Benefit and Impact.


Databases for In Class Activity

You can use these databases to work on the different sections of your worksheet.

Evaluation Criteria

There are a number of different checklists you can use to aid you in source evaluation. Examples include:

  • CRAAP (currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, purpose)
  • STAR (sufficiency, typicality, accuracy, relevance)
  • 5 Ws (Who, What, Where, When, Why)

It's a good idea to develop your own criteria for evaluating sources. Consider:

  • Your assignment requirements
  • The original context of your sources (who were they published for, and for what purpose?)
  • The source's relevance to your topic 
  • The source's use of evidence to support claims - does it provide citations or background? Could you reproduce the author's research process?

Title: Evaluating Sources. When you search for information you are going to find lots of it! You’ll need to determine if the information you find is good and appropriate to use. When evaluating, ask these questions to help determine quality sources… 1.	Currency: a.	How timely is the information? b.	When was the information published? c.	When was the website last modified? d.	Does the site have any broken links? 2.	Relevance: a.	Is the information important to your needs? b.	Does it relate to your topic? c.	Who is the audience? d.	Is the information too elementary or too advanced? 3.	Authority: a.	What is the source of the information? b.	What are the author’s credentials? c.	Is the author or organization qualified to write about the topic? d.	The author’s education, work experience, or other publications must be in the field they are writing about. 4.	Accuracy: a.	How reliable, truthful, and correct is the content? b.	Does the author use evidence and references that can be verified?  c.	Is the information factual? 5.	Purpose: a.	For what reason does the information exist? b.	Is the author trying to tell you something, teach or entertain? c.	Is the information written with bias? d.	Biases can be political, religious, cultural or personal. A good way to find a website’s bias is to look for an “about” or “about us” link. It’s usually found at the bottom of a webpage.  Image: a man wearing glasses, sitting as a desk with open books and a laptop computer in front of him.

Get Research Help

chat loading...