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Evaluating Sources: Books

How to determine which sources to use for accurate, professor-approved information.

Evaluating Books

Books can provide comprehensive, detailed accounts of topics. They're portable, they're stable, and they give you a break from a computer screen. Just because it's a book, however, doesn't mean it's an accurate, unbiased source of information. Here are some quick tips for evaluating a book's quality.

Resources for Evaluating Books

Evaluating Books Tutorial

Quick Tips

In addition to C.R.A.P., look at:

  •  Author: What are the author's credentials? Have they ever written books or articles on the same topic before?
  • Publisher: What type of publishing company is it? Are they widely known or do they only do limited productions? Is it a self-publishing company?
  •  Date/Currency: Has information, theories, or opinions changed since the book was published? How dramatic is the change?
  • Look over the table of contents and/or index to see what they discuss in the book.
  • Flip through to see if there are any pictures, charts, graphs, or special sections and read the captions.
  • References: Did the author use references? Do you see any footnotes or lists with outside information sources?
  • Check out book reviews like HCC Book Review Digest Plus to see what experts say about the book.

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