It's important to understand a source's purpose as you consider its value for your project.
To determine the purpose of a source, ask yourself these questions:
Knowing the purpose of the information is essential. Why the author has written about the topic and the nature of the information will help you determine if it will suit your needs.
Information sources can be categorized as:
See the table below for more information about each type of site.
|Type||Purpose||Produced By||Description & Examples|
|Advocacy||Sway opinion||Organizations or individuals||Advocacy sources (including blogs) may provide a wealth of information, but it's important to understand that these postings, articles, reports and policy papers are intended to promote a particular viewpoint or reflect one person's opinion. Usually opposing viewpoints on these issues are not represented. Advocacy sites are most useful for understanding different points of view.|
|Commercial||Promote or sell products and services||Companies||Commercial sources may provide articles and other useful information to draw readers to their business. Commercial sources may also offer reviews of their own products. Will they be likely to tell both sides of the story, or should you look elsewhere for more balanced reviews?|
|Reference / Information||Provide access to useful information and services||Universities, government agencies, publishers, individuals, organizations||Because these sources are not designed to promote a specific viewpoint or product, they are more likely to offer a full range of information on a topic.|