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Scholarly vs. Popular

McMaster Libraries. Published on Feb 24, 2016.

Evaluating Usefulness

  • Background
    • General information or factual evidence used to provide context.
  • Exhibit
    • Material to analyze or interpret. It may support or contradict your thesis or research question.
  • Analysis
    • Material that offers a critical assesment or makes a claim you would like to engage with.

The SMELL Test

  • Source.
    • Who is providing the information?
  • Motivation.
    • Why are they telling me this?
  • Evidence.
    • What evidence is provided for generalizations?
  • Logic.
    • Do the facts logically compel the conclusions?
  • Left out.
    • What’s missing that might change our interpretation of the information?