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General guide for Philosophy at Wichita State University

Evaluating Resources Critically & Ethically

As you read, note, quote and respond to the resources you find, it is important that you do so critically and ethically.  To do so critically means to not only select resources that meet requirements of scholarship, but to examine the content for information that best improves your research.  You are looking for resources that closely "fit"  your angle of interest (relevance); that provide useful, reliable and accurate information (accuracy and authority); and are timely and testable (aware of other scholarship on your topic and verifiable through multiple sources).  To research ethically involves the practices of referencing and citation - simply put: giving credit where credit is due.  This includes paraphrasing sources, arguing with conclusions, reflecting on ideas and contextually quoting - however what you find influences or inspires your own work deserves to be credited (it's the law as well - see Avoiding Plagiarism!)

Here are some quick tips and checklists to consider when engaging, evaluating and eventually selecting the best resources for your research:

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