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Evaluating for credible, authoritative, reliable sources: Why is evaluating information important?

Context and tips for how to evaluate sources, including web sites, so you can use credible, authoritative, reliable sources

Why evaluating sources is important to your education

photograph of a stack of booksMany of your instructors will ask you to use only credible, reliable and authoritative sources in your work.

Here are some definitions from Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary:


offering reasonable grounds for being believed.


having or proceeding from authority; clearly accurate or knowledgeable.

Image source: "Stack of books2" by Auntieruth55, MikiMedia Commons is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Why evaluating sources is important to your life

photograph of a doctor's office with a stool, keyboard, and computer

There will be many instances outside of the classroom when you will make decisions based on information. If you know how to evaluate information, you will be able to make better informed choices.

For example, you might rely on your friend "the movie buff" for advice about what film to see on Friday night, but would you ask him to perform an operation if he has no medical background? Probably not.

Image source: "Doctor's Office in New Orleans" by Bart Everson, WikiMedia Commons is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Additional sources

These open access materials go more in-depth into related issues, strategies, and importance of evaluating information and resources. 

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Except where otherwise noted, the content in these guides by Tacoma Community College Library is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0.
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