Skip to Main Content

Investigation into the Asia Pacific Region: Evaluating Resources

Year 10 Elective Geography

Scholarly Articles vs Popular Periodical Articles




How can I tell the difference between scholarly and popular periodical articles?


Journal of Biology, The Australian Journal of Environmental Education, Journal of Geography


Time Magazine, Choice, National Geographic, Reader's Digest, The Economist 


Longer articles, providing
in-depth analysis of topics

Shorter articles, providing
broader overviews of topics


Author usually an expert or specialist in the field, name and credentials always provided often attached to a University

Author usually a staff writer or a journalist, name and credentials may be provided


Written in the jargon of the field for scholarly readers (professors, researchers or students)

Written in non-technical language
for anyone to understand


Articles usually more structured,
may include these sections: abstract, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, bibliography

Articles do not necessarily follow a specific format or structure

Special Features

Illustrations that support the text, such as tables of statistics, graphs, maps, or photographs

Illustrations with glossy or colour photographs, usually for advertising purposes


Articles usually reviewed and critically evaluated by a board of experts in the field

Articles are not evaluated by experts in the field, but by editors on staff


A bibliography (works cited) and/or footnotes are always provided to document research thoroughly

A bibliography (works cited) is usually not provided, although names of reports or references may be mentioned in the text


  Selecting Information Sources

















McPherson @ Dube 2016

Evaluating Websites-What to Look For? Video 1

Evaluating Websites- What to Look For? Video 2

EBSCO Host compared to Google Searching


Can You Spot Fake News?

Factitious is a game that is designed to help students practice identifying real and fake news stories. The 2020 version of the game features stories about COVID-19.

Selecting Information for Research

Selecting Information for Your Assignments

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?

Website Evaluation- What to Look For.


Where is my URL from?


Information Literacy Skills Process

Steps in the process:

  • What is my purpose?
  • Why do I need to find this out?
  • What are the key words and ideas of the task?
  • What do I need to do?


"In completing the research project I have":

  • understood the criteria and the requirement of the project 
  • brainstormed the topic
  • selected keywords
  • listed the points that need covering
  • created a concept map and identified the links between various aspects of the topic
  • created focus question – sub headings
  • created and followed a schedule set out in a timeline
  • asked questions
  • considered availability of resources
  • type of research process required survey/ interview/ literature review /experiment/ qualitative/quantitative /meta-analysis

Steps in the process:

  • What do I already know?
  • What do I still need to find out?
  • What sources and equipment can I use?


"In completing the research project I have":

  • considered a variety of  resources
    • reference books /encyclopedia/ dictionary/ almanacs/ atlas /directory 
    • non fiction books /general books which have a section on the topic/ specific books on the topic/text books
    • periodical and newspaper articles / editorial/ feature story 
    • electronic databases such as the Australian New Zealand Reference Centre
    • Internet / search engines / URL’s containing uni. gov. edu. org. au
    • AV/ documentaries, podcasts
    • people / organizations/ experts/ interviews/ surveys/observation
  • used search tools to locate information – catalogue, keyword search, Boolean search, reference desk, index / contents page/ asking clearly defined question 

Steps in the process:

  • What information can I leave out?
  • How relevant is the information I have found?
  • How credible is the information I have found?
  • How will I record the information I need?


"In completing the research project I have selected":

  • reliable resources
    •  authoritative/current/ bias and purpose identified 
  • resources appropriate to the project
    • covers the topic in appropriate depth and breath
    • provides the required type of information for project - fact/ opinion/ primary/ secondary / visuals / audio/ quotes/ statistics/ graphs /surveys

Steps in the process:

  • Have I enough information for my purpose?
  • Do I need to use all this information?
  • How can I best combine information from different sources?


"In completing the research project I have":

  • sorted information into categories
  • taken notes in own words
  • quoted accurately
  • accurately taken bibliographic details  
  • drafted and edited ensuring information was relevant to the original question/ criteria

Steps in the process:

  • What will I do with this information?
  • With whom will I share this information?


"In completing the research project I have":

  • considered the purpose of the presentation – to educate/entertain/persuade
  • considered the audience – age/existing knowledge/culture/special needs
  • communicated using the most appropriate medium for the task and audience/webpage/powerpoint.
  • Presented information concisely and accurately
  • presented information in an appropriate form /essay /report/narrative/submission
  • taken into account different learning styles/visual/auditory/kinesthetic…
  • included reference / bibliography

Steps in the process:

  • Did I fulfill my purpose?
  • How did I go - with each step of the information process?
  • How did I go - presenting the information?
  • Where do I go from here?


"In completing the research project I have":

  • analyzed how effectively each stage of the research process was conducted
  • identified research skills needing improvement
  • analyzed how effective the final product was in meeting the set task / criteria
  • considered the limitations of the research  methodology
  • considered the quality and validity of the information gathered
  • taken into consideration feedback from teacher/audience

How to Spot Fake News