When you select material and information for your assignments, it should never be used indiscriminately - there should be a continual evaluation process occurring. Evaluate information for its relevance and usefulness to your work, and its quality. When looking at a source, ask yourself the following questions.
1. Will this information be useful?
- Is it relevant to my task?
- Does it relate to my topic?
- Does it help me answer a question or solve a problem?
2. Will this information add to my knowledge?
- Does it help me learn more about the topic?
- Does it fill in background information?
- Does it provide specific information?
3. What will I use this information for?
- Could it help to form my central argument?
- Will it help focus my thoughts?
- Can I use it as evidence?
- Will it help me locate other information?
4. How recent is this information?
- Is it out-of-date, or is it still useful?
- Is it the most up-to-date? Does it need to be?
5. How reliable is this information?
- Does this material come from a reputable and unbiased source?
- Is the author an acknowledged expert in the field?
6. How understandable is this information?
- If I find it difficult to understand, do I have to use it?
- Can I choose other information that I do understand?
7. How will I use this information?
- Does it provide evidence or support for my ideas?
- Does it provide a good example?
- Where could I put it in my assignment?
8. Do I really need to use this information?
- How does it help me answer the task?
- Is it essential information?
- Is it new information or am I just restating what I have already said?
- Is it the best example or most relevant piece of evidence? Do I have better material?
- What does it add to my work? Would my assignment be just as good without it?
- Is it too technical or too simple?
- Have I already supported my argument or point of view well enough?
- Do I have enough information to begin my task?